Designer Dossier: Brunello Cucinelli

The style insider's go-to man for discreet luxury is also Italy's king of cashmere.

October 6, 2011 11:00 AM
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brunello cucinelli
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It started with an ugly pair of pants. "They were so upsetting, I buried them in the backyard," Brunello Cucinelli recalls of a defining moment in his youth. So began his quest to beautify the world with sumptuous earth-toned separates that are always easy on the eyes--and conscience. At his headquarters in Solomeo, Italy, Cucinelli's employees are treated as preciously as the clothes they create. "My people always come first," he says. It's a mantra that's felt in every handmade stitch.

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Brunello Cucinelli, Fall 2011.
scarf
Ben Goldstein/Studio D
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Shawl, price upon request.
crest
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The Cucinelli company crest.
Ben Goldstein/Studio D
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Sweater, $825. Necklace, $950.
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"When we first moved to Solomeo, most of the properties were run-down. My love for architecture and the idea of turning this once-charming hamlet into our headquarters helped us focus our efforts. Now, 20 percent of our earnings go into its restoration."

Teatro Cucinelli in Solomeo.

Ben Goldstein/Studio D
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Necklace $950.
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"To support our family, my father left a farmer's life in the country to work in a factory. It was heartbreaking for me to see him come home demoralized by industrial work. It made me determined to bring a new humanistic approach to work that endorses a man's ethics, dignity, and moral values."