“Giving business a meaning that goes beyond profit and reinvesting to improve the lives of workers, to enhance and restore the beauty of the world”. In this sentence Brunello Cucinelli resumed his philosophy that is at the base of the Italian brand famous all over the world for its cashmere knitwear.
A poet? A modern Master of the Soul? A philosopher in search of the Supreme Good through human work? A neo-capitalistic entrepreneur? Each definition we want to associate to Brunello Cucinelli, he still remains one of the most singular representative of the made-in-Italy in fashion as well as in culture.
Born in 1956 near Assisi, the native town of the philosopher Saint Francis, after dropping his engineering studies at the University of Perugia, Brunello Cucinelli started his business in 1978 and soon became the “King of cashmere”. He was indeed the first Italian fashion designer to introduce colors into cashmere, once produced only in the natural tones of beige, grey or ivory. He had set up his business with only 5 models of cashmere knitwear, that soon caught the eyes of the international public, starting from Germany, and led the little workshop to became a worldwide known Italian fashion house.
The colored cashmere marked the history of fashion has a real revolution, first in sportswear and casual wear, then expanding its influence to the haute couture. Now, with a turnover of 60 millions of Euros, the Italian maison has men and women collections as well as accessories lines, spread all over the world through a series of boutiques in Japan, Europe, Russia or US. A keen exponent of the made-in-Italy.
But the key to the success for this Italian manufacturing industry is the philosophy that lies behind it, a life-and-working-style that has made Brunello Cucinelli worldwide known as an example of ethical neo-capitalism. His belief is, indeed, that through work we can reach the Supreme Good, our personal well-being, not only a financial well-being but also the completeness of our soul.
The concept of human enterprise is at the base of the organization of work in the Italian company; human needs and well being are the first concern of Brunello Cucinelli, because the brand’s “total quality is the result of the inner quality of every employee”, as he says, no matter what kind of work they do. The concept of “Human capital” defended by the inventor of the colored cashmere has led him to assure his employees better working conditions than most companies in the world, and to provide them with an adequate workplace, moving Cucinelli’s headquarters to Solomeo, an ancient village in the Middle Italy.
Bringing back to life the almost abandoned medieval village was maybe the biggest of Cucinelli’s deeds, next to the invention of colored cashmere of course. Solomeo doesn’t host only the headquarters of the famous Italian brand, but also the “Foro delle arti”, a special space in which are reunited an amphitheatre, a hippodrome, the Ninfeo, the philosophers’ garden, and the new theatre Cucinelli opened in 2001. Behind these initiatives there’s the Brunello Cucinelli foundation, created to pursue the Italian designer’s objectives in the village of Solomeo. A centre of culture, philosophy, literature, arts and obviously, Italian fashion.
Brunello Cucinelli philosophical view earned him not only the exponential growth of his Italian maison, which still hasn’t known a stop despite the crisis, but also different accolades and awards. From the “Earnst & young” and the “Imprenditore olivettiano 2009” awards for his brilliant career in the fashion history, to the honorary degree in philosophy from the University of Perugia. No doubt that his “ethic” and “human enterprise” has finally bear to Brunello Cucinelli the due fruits.
Brunello Cucinelli S.p.a.Via dell’Industria, 5 06073 Corciano – Frazione Solomeo (Perugia), Italy
Tel: [+39] 075 529481
Fax: [+39] 075 6970708
Web: Brunello Cucinelli Italian Fashion and Cashmere