Italian Casual Luxe

Italian Casual Luxe

Italian luxury brand Brunello Cucinelli will open its first Singapore boutique at Paragon tomorrow.

The 36-year-old label is quite unlike any other luxury brand.

Most are based in one of the fashion capitals, but Brunello Cucinelli calls the mediaeval hamlet of Solomeo, 400km away from Milan, home.

Its founder, the 61-year-old Brunello Cucinelli, is a self-taught designer who grew up poor. At the age of 24, the son of a farmer dropped out of university and spent his days hanging out at bars with his friends.

But the milling around stopped once he became inspired by the fast fashion Italian brand, United Colors of Benetton, which is known for its multi-coloured sweaters. It spurred him to start his own line of coloured cashmere sweaters for women. Back then, cashmere knitwear came mainly in dark colours and only for men.

From women's cashmere sweaters, the brand has grown into a full fashion label with clothing and accessories for both men and women.

The brand nails the casual-luxe aesthetic with quality fabrics, clean lines and simple shapes.

Expect to pay a premium for the products, which are made by skilled craftsmen in Italy.

Every year, the company also donates 20 per cent of its profits to the Brunello Cucinelli Foundation, which goes towards arts and cultural projects.

According to news reports, it also pays its employees about 20 per cent more than what they would make elsewhere in Italy. Prices for their products at the 2,000 sq ft boutique range from $300 to $30,000.

This article was first published on Dec 19, 2014.
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