On Brunello Cucinelli’s expansion plans in China and how to take care of your cashmere.
Brunello Cucinelli is an Italian brand known for their chic luxurious sportswear line made from cashmere. Brunello Cucinelli has an interesting and inspiring story based on a very Italian sense of history. He started the company by restoring a medieval village in Solomeo complete with castle, a church and a village square and farm, near Assisi in Umbria. Brunello adopted a humanistic approach towards running the business to produce quality, well designed cashmere products that never go out of style. The designs are contemporary and timeless at the same time – the definition of elegance.
We caught up with Export Manager Edoardo Simone (left in picture above) recently who was in town to promote their Fall 2011 collection at The Swank.
Butterboom: Describe the Brunello Cucinelli brand?
Edoardo Simone: I would say that we are a luxury high-end lifestyle brand who use fantastic fabric and a focus on quality, craftsmanship and timeless designs.
Butterboom: How do you determine the quality of the cashmere?
Edoardo Simone: Our quality is in the selection of cashmere and its treatment. We make extremely lightweight cashmere which are ultra soft. We use a process in the production of the fabric from the raw cashmere fibre to make it the way it is. Most of the items in our collection use materials made from a blend of cashmere and silk. For example, the two-ply cashmere yarn we use is twisted 60,000 times to get it to be that thin and light.
Butterboom: Give us your key essential pieces every stylish women should own?
Edoardo Simone: I would say a scarf, a pullover and a casual jacket with a hood for casual weekend wear in neutral colours in shades of grey or beige.
Butterboom: Tell us about your Spring/Summer 2011 collection.
For this collection, we are combining different materials together like cashmere and leather or leather with silk to create different shapes and silhouette in neutral soft shades of grey, beige and navy blue.
Butterboom: What’s the biggest growth market for Brunello Cucinelli?
Edoardo Simone: US is still our biggest market. For Asia, we forecast 20 stores in China for the next 3 years. We are planning a flagship store in Shanghai in December and Beijing to follow. We have 4 stores in China at the moment – in Chengdu, Shenyang, Harbin and Dalian – and one in Hong Kong. We want to have at least 4 more stores in Hong Kong in the next 2 years. We will also open an online store in April 2011.
Butterboom: Best place to buy Brunello Cucinelli?
Edoardo Simone: Pretty much the same all over the world not considering the duty. It could be more expensive in US and Japan because of the duty. For duty free places like Hong Kong, the price will be better.
Butterboom: How do you take care of cashmere?
Edoardo Simone: Wash with cold water with specific soap for cashmere, handwash and flat dry. You need to wash in water so it remains soft and keep the fibres alive so it will keep longer. Don’t dry-clean cashmere as it will kill the fibre and dry it out. All our cashmere fibre is treated in a specific area in Umbria, Italy, because the water quality there is great for treating cashmere.