A lot of fashion brands talk a big talk about “lifestyle”, but few have created a comprehensive world as effortlessly—or as elegantly—as Brunello Cucinelli. The Italian designer’s expansions beyond sumptuous sweaters and soft-shouldered suits feel totally natural: Of course, the Cucinelli man needs leisurewear befitting his private jet and a silk throw for bundling up on his yacht. Ceramic tableware? It’s a specialty of Cucinelli’s native Umbria. Olive oil? The designer grew up harvesting it.
All of these facets come to life at Casa Cucinelli, a new concept store that is effectively like stepping into the designer’s home. But, unlike Cucinelli’s actual casa, everything here can be yours. Following similar spaces in Milan, London and Paris that have opened over the past two years, the new Casa Cucinelli applies the designer’s finely honed aesthetic to a classic New York apartment—Gotham bones with a Solomeo soul. Somewhere between dropping by an old friend’s crib and popping into your favorite boutique, the intimate, by-appointment-only showroom makes shopping a thoroughly pleasurable experience.
Entering off a prime block of 5th Avenue, a quick elevator ride up nine flights transports you into an expansive floor-through that is pure Cucinelli from oak-paneled floor to ceiling. First up is the kitchen, clad in Carrara marble sourced from the same quarry Michelangelo used and stocked with Italian wines and Cucinelli’s horn-handled barware. And like any good Italian household, there’s always a little something to nibble on.
“It is a space that we hope will fully express all the elements making up our idea of Italian lifestyle,” Cucinelli says, equating his exquisitely simple designs with “our basic cuisine, made up of a few ingredients… bruschetta with olive oil from the village of Solomeo, a plate of rigatoni with tomato sauce and basil.”
In the living room, chamois-upholstered sofas and chairs are swaddled in Cucinelli cushions and blankets while the surrounding bookcases are filled with the designer’s favorite tomes on philosophy and art, peppered with the occasional suede desert boot and duffle bag. French doors lead to an equally cozy study with windows overlooking the Gothic towers of St. Thomas church and lined with racks carrying the current collection’s greatest hits, from flannel puffer jackets to corduroy suits. And just when it seems that there couldn’t possibly be any further square footage, the study opens into a spacious walk-in closet containing—you guessed it—even more Cucinelli finery for men, women and children.
While the first Casa Cucinelli, in Milan, predates the pandemic, the events of the past two years inspired the brand to up the ante on private shopping for its most loyal customers. The result certainly eradicates any concerns about hitting the sales floor with the masses but, moreover, it’s an escape. Pampering and exceedingly luxe, this is retail at its most therapeutic.
Currently, Casa Cucinelli is invite-only, however, inquiring at either of the brand’s New York City boutiques may secure you a trip to this little slice of Umbria on 5th.