The rake

the modern voice of classic elegance

CraftNovember 2017

How Luca Faloni Creates Versatile Knitwear

With the help of artisans around Italy, Luca Faloni creates high-quality classics that are designed to surpass trends and seasons.

captionAll Luca Faloni's knitwear is made in Italy.

There’s good reason why cashmere is one of the most in-demand materials come winter time: aside from its obvious thermal qualities, it’s remarkably soft to the touch, comparatively rare in contrast to its woollen peers and, most notably, is a material that’s become synonymous with luxury. But not all cashmere is equal – as Italian native Luca Faloni can attest, which is precisely what led him to start creating his own knitwear.

It wasn’t until he left his hometown of Turin, to work abroad as a strategy consultant in London, San Francisco and other European cities, that he noticed how high-quality the apparel was in his place of birth. “I realised that I was always buying my clothes on my trips back to Italy,” says Faloni. “The Italian brands with retail presence abroad were simply too expensive and were targeting an older demographic group, and the other international brands sold style and quality different from what I wanted.”

After returning to Italy, Faloni set out to fill this gap by creating high-quality yet affordable pieces, which would be available to purchase outside of Italy. He travelled across the country, meeting artisans and sourcing materials with which to make his clothes. “It was fascinating – I explored my country inside out and learnt about fantastic people that were the last of several generations working on the same craft.” That sourcing trip was where Faloni discovered Cariaggi cashmere, a yarn processed in the medieval town of Cagli in the central region of Italy, which was by far the softest he’d come across. He uses this for his knitwear, which is made in a family-run laboratory in Northern Italy.

  • luca-faloni-sialia-blue-pure-cashmere-cable-knit-sweater
  • luca-faloni-dolomiti-grey-pure-cashmere-cable-knit-sweater
  • luca-faloni-navy-blue-pure-cashmere-cable-knit-sweater

After a year of trialling and testing prototypes with these producers, Faloni came up with the cut and style of his pieces, which include classic cashmere sweaters, polos and simple linen shirts. “I like to think that you could pick up the styles in 10 years’ time, and they’ll still be relevant,” says Faloni. He also adds that they’re designed to intersect casual and formalwear: the tidy cable knits can be paired with jeans at the weekend or with smart tailoring; the polo shirts can be worn under a blazer or more casually on their own, with rolled up sleeves.

In order to maintain a high standard – as well as a competitive price point – while growing, Faloni focuses on producing a few things well, instead of creating new designs each season. “We don’t aim to cover all the products a brand could produce,” he says. “Instead we want to keep quality high for the few designs we do make.” Considering that in Italy, traditionally, family-owned tailors and shoemakers would do that and nothing more, Faloni’s seems like a truly artisanal sentiment.

Luca Faloni has collaborated with The Rake on a range of cable knit sweaters in exclusive colourways. Shop the range here.

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