The conventional blazer takes on a completely different connotation in the hands of Italian designer Brunello Cucinelli, whose easy, chic sportswear—from soft jackets, quilted outerwear, and ski sweaters to polo shirts and chinos—is all about the sportive life despite being made from cashmere and other fibers far too precious for physical activities. His products are known for such innovative details as embroideries under the collars of jackets, suede elbow patches on knitwear, and contrasting colors inside pant cuffs so they still look great when rolled. With the recent addition of sporty cotton knits, polo shirts, suede blouson jackets, nylon vests, and a new collection of denim, the brand is proving itself equally versatile beyond its cashmere roots.
Cucinelli, the son of a farmer, started selling brightly colored cashmere sweaters from his garage in Perugia, Italy. He has reinvested most of the profits from Cucinelli cashmere in restoring his wife’s hometown of Solomeo, where the company has its headquarters.