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5 posts tagged "Brunello Cucinelli"

Alberto Premi and Tom Lipop are On Next


next-main“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-sizedLipop, 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 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.”


Photos: Courtesy Photos; Courtesy of Tom Lipop

In Florence, The Stars Align


The Italians are noted for their national pride, but the opening night of Florence’s Pitti Immagine fairs this week—the menswear spectacle that is Pitti Uomo; the women’s complement, Pitti W; and the childrenswear fest, Pitti Bimbi—found Ferragamo celebrating an American: Marilyn Monroe. In fairness, Salvatore Ferragamo himself did pitch his tent in Hollywood, where he made shoes for the stars (including Marilyn, a size 6), and Monroe is an enduring icon. Why? “Marilyn is a quintessential actress,” opined Rose Byrne (above), who turned up to bring some celeb wattage (circa 2012) to the event. “Mystery, beauty, and tragedy—that will forever intrigue people.” So, it goes without saying, will clothes. A staggering variety of Marilyn’s were on display, including notable on-screen outfits, like the beaded black dress she wore as Sugar Kane in the immortal Some Like It Hot. Curator Stefania Ricci was at pains to pick just one favorite. Pressed to choose, she went for “photos of Marilyn when she was very young, blonde, with no makeup—photos that are [almost] an interpretation of death.” A more literal interpretation of Monroe’s death closed the exhibit: a tableau of a body in bed, as Marilyn was found. Spooky.

One star gave way to many as guests moved from the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo to Fiesole, in the hills outside Florence, for a dinner in plein air. Brunello Cucinelli threw his biannual Pitti opening celebration for a party of a hundred-plus, in a medieval castle dating back to somewhere between the tenth and thirteenth centuries (above). That’s the kind of history even Hollywood can’t cop to, though the site turned out to have had a few modern roles, too. During the second World War, it had been occupied by the Nazis, then was the site of a skirmish between them and combined U.S./Scottish forces. A bullet hole near the entrance hall serves as a permanent reminder. At his expansive booth at the Pitti Uomo fair today, Cucinelli glowed as he spoke of the beauty of the building and the beauty of Italy—one he aims to uphold in his collections. Seen his way, his trademark one-and-a-half breast jackets, down-filled gilets (with hand-picked down to avoid any sharp or rough segments), and ultra-light knits are practically a civic duty. “We believe in the state very much, so I have recalled all the great masters,” he said, via a translator, of his designs. “Italians need to raise our heads again. Our state is an incredible state, and I want to work for it.”

Photos: Courtesy of Salvatore Ferragamo; Courtesy of Brunello Cucinelli

The High Street Princess


Speculation over who will design princess-to-be Kate Middleton’s wedding dress has been rampant since her engagement was announced (and not just among London’s bookies). And now anyone looking for a clue to her style can admit her official, Mario Testino-shot engagement photos into evidence: A pair of them (one formally posed in the Council Chamber connected to Clarence House, his father’s official residence, above left; and another, more intimate shot, above right) were released this weekend. In both, Middleton chose high street over high fashion. For the formal shot, she wears a dress by Reiss and earrings by Links; for the more informal shot, a blouse by Whistles, a retailer overseen by former Topshop head designer Jane Shepherdson. Wills, for his part, went for the expensive stuff: a suit by Turnbull & Asser, and a sweater by Brunello Cucinelli.

Photos: Mario Testino

The Newest Mad Man: Brunello Cucinelli


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.

Photo: Courtesy of Brunello Cucinelli

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.

Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty Images