They call him the Franciscan of cashmere. Brunello Cucinelli is a master of fashion and the economy. He uses the finest cashmere, often in rich colors, to produce light as a feather clothing that is precisely cut following clean lines. His inspiration is the nomadic spirit of distant lands. This spirit is weaved in the the precious material in the same way linen, cotton and silk are threaded through some of his creations. He makes his purchases personally in Mongolia where he travels twice a year.
A self-made person, Brunello believes in communicating emotion, in integrating mind and heart. His most prized value is tolerance. Tolerant people will have a very interesting future, he said in a recent interview. This is Brunello the man who respects and nurtures the underlying values and philosophy of living one's dreams.
"I believe in a humanistic company, a company that responds in the noblest way, to all the rules of ethics that humankind has defined. Where profit is made without harming or offending anyone, and part of the same is used for projects that are able to concretely improve the condition of human life: services, schools, places of worship and a recovery of our cultural heritage."
He lives in the Umbrian village of Solomeo, a thirteenth century village he has adopted and restored, where he wants to make work more human and put humans at its center. His entire production is made in Italy.
He founded his humanistic company also on the commitment to the preservation of beauty. For that he has been restoring a forum for the arts, a theater, a hippodrome and a nympheum for and with his community to sooth the soul and encourage dialogue. Of that project he says:
"I am not the owner but the pro tempore guardian of these places dedicated to the soul. When you feel you are a guardian, your concept of time changes. You plan not for the next ten or twenty years, you plan for the next millennium instead."
Brunello values intellectual honesty and being truthful. He quotes Socrates' contentment is wealth, luxury is poverty. His passions are philosophy and architecture. About being remembered he says:
"I work as though I were bound to live in eternity, but also mindful that I could die tomorrow. I would be happy the day they said of me what they said of the church custodian in Solomeo, he was a just man. So, that’s at least what I’m aiming for."
He's been called Italy latest Renaissance Man. He manages to connect cashmere with culture. (images from his web site)