April 17, 2013

Brunello Cucinelli. Renaissance man, designer, businessman

Brunello Cucinelli

Brunello Cucinelli is neither your typical designer nor a businessman in the run-of-the-mill sense of the word. He comes from a purest, simplest and poorest background to then, as a young idealist with no finished studies yet brimming with philosophical and ethical questions and searches, at 25, go marching towards his future, to the small Italian town of Bolzano with 6 borrowed cashmere sweaters to sell.

Somehow he made his way to, at 58, running a luxury empire seeing an undisputed international boom, and more extraordinarily, stock market success, in crisis-stricken Italy, with a USD 320 million annual turnover and 52% steep hikes.

Even more unbelievably, Cucinelli manages to balance this profitability with contracting 2 300 independent artisans working at home, scattered throughout the region, the miraculously woven and tailored subtle pieces of Brunello Cucinelli’s sportivo chic collections. His employees, seamstresses, tailors and other craftsmen, get a pay 20% higher than the Italian average income and need not be bound by such contractual guarantees as checking in and out.

Even more, he donates 20% of the profits through the Brunello Cucinelli Foundation and has restores a small medieval town. Originally designer, harder to understand paternalistic owner and manager, philanthropist by vocation. With no formal preparation other than informal and deeply humane life and business experiences, Cucinelli speaks about humanist capitalism. An almost Renaissance figure.

The spring-summer Brunello Cucinelli campaign.

Brunello Cucinelli

Brunello Cucinelli

Brunello Cucinelli

Brunello Cucinelli

Brunello Cucinelli

Brunello Cucinelli

 

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Photo source: Brunello Cucinelli