5 posts tagged "Brunello Cucinelli"
“We have to think about the future, and we have to think about what’s now,” offered Pitti Immagine CEO Raffaello Napoleone, after announcing the winners of the Spring ’15 Who’s On Next prize yesterday afternoon. The victors—22-year-old Italian sneaker designer Alberto Premi for accessories, and 30-year-old British talent Tom Lipop for menswear—could not have been more different. Yet both of their divergent aesthetics spoke to contemporary tastes, as well as what’s to come. According to Napoleone, the designers were selected for their innovative techniques; unique brand identities; and embrace of Italian materials, artisanship, and production.
Lipop, whose catchphrase is “modern tradition—modernizing the traditional silhouette,” was recognized for his minimal, subtly embroidered suiting and separates (pictured, left), which place a focus on intricate cutting and are assembled in an origami-like fashion. “I’m hoping this will help people recognize us as an established brand,” he said of the win. But why would a British boy like Lipop align himself so closely with Italy, rather than the U.K.? “We’re trying to push into the luxury market, and as a new brand, it’s hard to do that if you’re made in the Middle East or the U.K. That ‘Made in Italy’ stigma is really good for us,” he said. “Made in Italy is obviously the top dog, and we’ve always wanted to do things properly.”
Premi (pictured, below), whose father also works in the Italian shoe industry, earned the accolade with electric-hued high-tops inspired by futurism and science fiction. “I want to grow into the international market,” said the young designer of his post-award goals. “I also want to develop womenswear.” The prize, which is awarded only to brands that produce in Italy, will no doubt help him take the next step. Both he and Lipop will receive 3,500 euros; the opportunity to present at a special event during the Fall ’15 Pitti fair in January; editorial mentions in L’Uomo Vogue; and support from Yoox.com and London’s Tomorrow Land showroom. “Of the biggest new names in menswear, 90 percent started directly from this platform,” said Napoleone. “Everyone from Andrea Incontri to Umit Benan began here. Even Brunello Cucinelli started at Pitti,” he added. As for the importance of supporting up-and-comers, Napoleone said, “It’s more important than ever before. You know, Armani was young a few years ago. And so were Dolce and Gabbana. The world is changing from what it used to be. We need the new.”
If there’s ever been a brand meant for uptown, Brunello Cucinelli is it. “Of course, we’ve always wanted to be on Madison Avenue,” said Massimo Caronna, president of Brunello Cucinelli USA, drifting past lavender and indigo installments of the famous Cucinelli cashmere sweaters and the occasional cashmere soccer ball. And citing the economic opportunity afforded the company during the recession, he said, “Last year, it made perfect sense to open our store here.”
But, alas, at the opening of his first store above 14th Street in New York City, Cucinelli himself was nowhere to be found. Thanks to an incipient bout of pneumonia, he remained in Europe, sending the following message through his representatives: “Situations arise that are out of our control. We must adapt to them and move on.” His hero, Marcus Aurelius, couldn’t have said it more stoically.
The new shop, outfitted with raw-wood farm tables and armoires, is the latest of the label’s 40-some doors around the world. It maintains the same summer-home aesthetic—call it resort chic, minus any hint of Margaritaville. Caronna says Cucinelli’s U.S. client base is, in fact, 70 percent tourists, and the Madison Avenue location should offer a welcome post to re-ration en route to Miami or Monaco. Like the store, the clothing is exquisitely crafted, light (for the jet set forever in warmer climes), and finely detailed. Solomeo crests are hidden behind a jacket lapel, and signature striping peeks out from a shirt cuff. And for the aristocrat in repose this season, the label debuts buckskin brogues and a casual, camel-colored spin on the Wallabee.
Brunello Cucinelli, 683 Madison Ave., NYC.
Words Of Wisdom From The Stylish Ms. Smith, The Singing Ms. Elson, The Philosophical Sig. Cucinelli, And More…-------
Fashion’s obsession with Patti Smith continues, and the Times took the weekend to jump on the bandwagon. But Patti herself could take or leave it. Despite an enviable wardrobe of Demeulemeester and co., she describes her style as, “I don’t care what you think.” (But, OK, she doesn’t mind a Dior gown.) [NYT]
WWD checks in with Karen Elson for some thoughts on her upcoming country album and the precarious state of being a model-hyphenate. “The payoff with singing is that you’re singing your songs,” Elson says. “The payoff with the runway…maybe there isn’t one.” [WWD]
Meanwhile, The New Yorker talks with “beneficent overlord” and cashmere king Brunello Cucinelli (pictured). The gregarious knitwear mogul is bullish on his cashmere, capitalism, and President Obama: “I always say, Obama is my President—the President of the world.” And if that weren’t enough, he’s commissioned a bust of the prez that he chats with from time to time. [New Yorker]
And place those bets while you can: Word on the street is that W‘s new editor in chief will be announced as soon as this week.