Best Of The Best 2006: Fiber Optimum
Since first introducing finished clothing under its own label in 1991 and establishing its first store two years later, the 83-year-old Italian textile dynasty Loro Piana has opened more than 80 stores worldwide and expanded its collection from a limited assortment of knits and outerwear to a full range of apparel: tailored suits, sporty cashmere shirts, linen jeans, cotton/linen shirts, reversible jackets, tailored sport coats, and even waterproof microfiber swimwear.
Loro Piana’s new Tre Golfi Reversible and Roadster Short jackets, made from the company’s Windmate microfiber, are extremely lightweight as well as waterproof and ultraquiet while in motion. A new informal Chamonix cashmere topcoat includes interchangeable linings made from down, cashmere, or finely sheared mink. The brand also has started producing fine knitwear made from baby cashmere that is combed, rather than sheared, from the belly of a 3- to 12-month-old goat—19 animals are required to produce enough fiber for a single sweater. Meanwhile, Loro Piana holds the industry’s Best Bale—the world’s finest wool fiber. It measures an astonishing 11.8 microns, about six times finer than human hair. Once an even finer wool surfaces, the company will weave the fiber into cloth for a handful of clients who are waiting to wear one of its made-to-order Record Bale suits.