Contemporary Cashmere

  • Christina Garofalo

New Parisian-based cashmere company Exemplaire, established by 26-year-old Jean-Victor Meyers—grandson of L’Oréal matriarch Liliane Bettencourt—and his friend Louis Leboiteux, also 26, creates men’s fashion for the likes of its founders—affluent young men looking for quality garments in slim, youthful silhouettes.

“I was shopping with my parents, and I couldn’t find a single high-end cashmere sweater in the fit I wanted,” says Meyers, who has a tall, lean stature. “It occurred to me that a cashmere sweater remains modern and desirable at any age and in any color, and every man should own one that he feels good in and that will last.”

According to Meyers, Exemplaire’s main point of difference is the fit. The collection, which launched for fall at Barney’s, consists of 12 slim-fitting cashmere sweaters and scarves. The sweaters are in a neutral color palette, including navy, gray, beige, and black; some have lambskin insets, elbow patches, or leather piping to add a hint of structure. Items range from a single-ply crew-neck sweater ($1,200) to a five-ply motorcycle jacket ($3,200). As for the construction, the cashmere is assembled and sewn almost entirely by hand in factories in Tuscany and Mayenne, France. Just 50 pieces are made in each style, aside from those blended with rarer fabrics, like this season’s cashmere-and-chinchilla hooded sweater ($3,200), which will come in just 30 pieces.

Meyers says Exemplaire’s spring-summer collection will comprise nearly double the number of styles for fall—made with thin, lightweight blends that will include silk and vicuña—and they plan to keep the quantities small and exclusive. (www.exemplaire.com)

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