Brunello Cucinelli was born in Umbria, on September the 3rd of 1953, in Castel Rigone, a hamlet of Passignano sul Trasimeno, near the city of Perugia.
His lineage comes from the countryside, something that is very proud of, and he is one of the very few entrepreneurs that really stresses out the fact that work brings nobility to one man’s life.
He spends his first fifteen years of his life in the countryside, to then move to the city, almost at the same time when he enrolls to the faculty of engineering that he would leave after only three years and with not promising results.
Once finished the university experience, he starts to dedicate himself to his lifetime job.
He is seen as a visionary because he has been the first to color cachemire and in particular to use this noble and typically masculine fabric, to wear the feminine universe with coats and knitwear. In his 40 square meter laboratory, (located inside his parents house), Brunello creates his first women’s collection and leaves towards Trentino Alto Adige where he’s able to sell the garments to a local group of entusiasts.
In 1978 he officially establishes the company with its headquarters in Ellera di Corciano, always in the perugine province.
During the early 1980’s he acquires the participation to a company called “Rivamonti”, which was already active into the production and creation of wool knitwear to whom Brunello links the integration of cachemire yarns to embellish the final products. Cucinelli hoping for an expansion not only related to his native territory, turns his interest towards the United States and thanks to the financial help that the Italian Government arranged in the years 1984 and 1985, he is able to establish the Brunello Cucinelli USA Inc. as wholesale seller and importer of cachemire.
After almost nine years, the company consists of 30 employees and a turnover of almost 30 billions of Lire. Following this enlargement, in 1985 he decides to buy a 14th Century castle located in Solomeo, a small village near Perugia, where, after a tow year restoration process, he moves his headquarters.
After the “Rivamonti”, Cucinelli enters in Gunex in the 90’s being able to join under the “Rivamonti” brand cachemire knitwear and both trousers and skirts made by “Gunex”.
1994 is the year that marks a turning point both for production and distribution, with the first men’s collection labelled BRUNELLO CUCINELLI and the opening of the first flagship store in Porto Cervo.
The company becomes a referring point for the mere Italian craftsmanship, by making every single item exclusively 100% in Italy. In particular, the production of Cucinelli’s total look is divides itself in 4 regions:
Umbria : knitwear and clothing, leather and outerwear
Marche : fur garments
Toscana : women’s shoes, outerwear, leather and accessories
Veneto : outerwear, leather, women’s shoes and accessories
Cucinelli’s style is highly recognizable not because it can be noticed by its extravagance but especially because it hides behind an inestimable sobriety. The collections that are introduced season after season are all united by a “fil rouge” which the owner doesn’t want to leave, which is the concept of “lifestyle” that characterizes them, a concept that produces a remarkable longevity related to the use of the garments.
Therefore, it is possible to assert with absolute certainty that a Cucinelli garment can be used after years of distance from the date of its first purchase, without never looking old fashioned; a way of thinking which is distant from the actual commercial logics that see fashion as something fast, to be “burnt” rapidly year after year. Cucinelli represents “STYLE”, he doesn’t want to hear talking about fashion.
Coming back to the collections that have followed one to each other during the years, it can be noticed that there are garments and color that have become iconic and immediately related to the brand: we refer to the constant use of gray and beige into combinations, to double breasted jackets with buttons that closer than the ones that can be found in more conventional double breasted garments, so recognizable that led to the creation of a new related definition, the “ petto e mezzo” (Italian definition for half breasted); the”Cargo” pants that have been brought back into fashion, the leather belt with an iron point precisely worn longer to create a less formal attitude, gray socks under turned up trousers worn shorter than usual…these are the foundation points.
In an era in which fashion houses compete in order to grab as many appearances as possible at Festivals, red carpets, movies and so on, Cucinelli prefers to maintain a much lower profile, nevertheless, during the filming of the latest chapter dedicated to the world’s most famous secret agent “007”, the protagonist Daniel Craig has specifically asked to the costume designer Jany Temime to wear at any cost Cucinelli’s creations. The result? Well the garments for the movie scene perfectly blend themselves into the surrounding scene, where the gray color of a futuristic construction and the sand color of the desert in which the construction is located predominate.
What really distinguishes the Brunello Cucinelli company is inevitably the capitalistic 2.0 mentality of its founder, thanks to company logics that are connected to the dignity of profits, to the special relationship with the territory, in a project of growth and development not excessive but constant: “Giving to the enterprise a sense that goes beyond profit, and to reinvest in order to improve the life of workers, to enhance and recover the beauties of the world”, these are the words used by Cucinelli, to define his “ethical capitalism”, translated into facts with the restoration of the village of Solomeo, the safeguard of the native territory and the creation of a School and a Foundation, working towards human values intended as “relationships between people and the different activities that animate the mankind society”.
Thanks to his “humanistic enterprise” it is to understand how the entrepreneurial figure of Brunello Cucinelli is founded on the philosophical one, connected to non material goods, giving life to an ethic oriented towards a “supreme good” to give dignity to the man through work, by putting him at the center of any productive process.
Frank Gallucci & Francesco Tarabuzzi