AN EQUAL REACTION

Brunello Cucinelli’s daughter Carolina and her husband, Alessio Piastrelli, ensured the house’s community-first philosophy was not mislaid when life under lockdown revealed itself.

For a company that puts family and community first, 2020 has proven to be a rollercoaster of a year for Brunello Cucinelli. Not only did Signor Cucinelli’s youngest daughter, Carolina, and her husband, Alessio Piastrelli, welcome their son Brando into the world, but the family business supported a huge number of artisans in Umbria during Italy’s extended Covid-19 lockdown. “We have a significant network of small workshops, suppliers and staff that rely on us for work,” Carolina says. “So we’ve managed to maintain work for 5,000 or so craftspeople right the way through this year. The company guaranteed work for all because we felt huge responsibility for the artisans who have helped us to grow.”

It raises the question, how have Carolina and Alessio managed to juggle a newborn with their senior roles at Cucinelli during such an intense time? The answer, again, is family. “What a child brings into your life is so unique,” says Alessio. “I feel like I should almost thank the lockdown, because it’s put some balance back into our lives. Since my son was born in the summer, when work finishes each day, I can’t wait to head home and spend time with our children.”

Carolina adds: “The family aspect to what we do is really important to us. It helps our community to understand that every one of us is the same, and we all have the same importance in the Cucinelli world.” Evidently, Carolina and Alessio are every bit as elegant in spirit as they are in the flesh.

1.
Alessio is a past master in caring for his clothes. When it comes to shoes, he prefers to keep old favourites alive and kicking, so to speak. “Take a pair of my favourite Cordovan loafers as an example,” he says. “I’ve had them for a long time, so I ask the shoemaker we work with to recondition them once a year, because the older they get, the more charm they have.”

 

2.
Alessio’s tailoring is all by Cucinelli, naturally. “I don’t like wardrobes with too many clothes. Instead, I keep to a few carefully selected pieces. There are a few jackets I come back to every day: a couple of solid colours, a few pinstripes and a herringbone weave, plus some knitwear-like models in cashmere and a velvet jacket in the colour of the season.”

 

3.
You might notice there are only a few pairs of trousers,” Alessio says. “I often wear an old pair of denim jeans by Brunello Cucinelli, which after several years of wear have taken on a character I like a lot. I often entrust them to our tailor, Denise, who always works wonders and is a master at mending tears caused by the passing of time.”

 

4.
Alessio’s angular sunglasses by Jacques Marie Mage are a personal favourite. “I enjoy looking around for archival sunglass models, especially when I’m travelling. I’m particularly attached to these because they come with me on my various trips to Los Angeles, a city I’ve loved for years. Of course, Jacques Marie Mage is a Parisian design who moved to L.A. some years ago.”

 

5.
Alessio’s watch collection is one of two halves. “You’ll notice a small collection of Swatch watches from the nineties,” he says. “They remind me of when I was a teenager and my grandfather and I would look for these watches together. In terms of luxury pieces, I am particularly attached to my Submariner Hulk, my very first Rolex. The other model that’s truly special is a Rolex Daytona 6263 from 1979, a Paul Newman. It was a special gift I received from Carolina for our wedding.”

 

6.
“My Porsche 912 in Irish green is the highest expression of a truly timeless object to me, something that will never date. I fell in love with Porsche when I first saw the movie Spy Game, where Robert Redford plays the part of a C.I.A. agent and the movie opens and closes with him driving his 912 coupé.”

 

7.
Alessio is a keen motorcyclist, too. “I have a very strong bond with my first motorbike, a Triumph Bonneville with carburettors from 2005. I’m in the habit of naming my cars and motorbikes, and her name is Jacqueline, in honour of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The other motorbike I cherish is a Guzzi V7 Sport from 1971. I don’t ride it, but I admire it as a work of design; I’d like to give it to a motorcycle museum some day.”

 

Published

December 2020

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