Not too long ago, two companies treated eager investors to initial public offerings: Facebook and Brunello Cucinelli. Ask their shareholders today which they covet the most, and they may pick the one that quietly elevates your status rather than the one that incessantly updates it. The secret of Brunello Cucinelli’s success has always been his commitment to old-world traditions. Even his chosen HQ, the medieval village of Solomeo in central Italy, is an idyllic place where the wages are fair and the lunch breaks are long. All the better to keep the 64-year-old designer close to the colors of the Umbrian countryside that inspire him. Here, the maestro who prefers quoting Socrates instead of stock prices reveals the things that inspire his life.
His Favorite Book
Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius
His favorite escape
“I am fortunate to live in a place where most people would like to escape to. Solomeo is a tiny medieval village where the air is fresh and the only noises you hear are from nature. It is a great place for a man like me, who needs to spend time alone and meditate.”
His must-have item
“My favorite and oldest cashmere scarf is the softest and most practical item I carry with me on all my trips. I use it on a plane as a blanket, and my wife uses it on chilly summer evenings.”
His style icons
“Fiat owner Gianni Agnelli, John F. Kennedy Jr., and Italian film star Marcello Mastroianni (pictured).”
His favorite food
“Fresh bread with olive oil is something I just can’t live without. Nothing tastes quite as special as these two simple foods paired together.”
His favorite design
“An architect I am truly fond of is Carlo Scarpa. I like his elegant interventions of new techniques in historical contexts, his innovative use of materials, and his consummate attention to detail.”
His favorite art
“There is a young sculptor from Carrara, Tuscany, by the name of Stefano Giannoni. He has been working on some beautiful pieces for my personal collection and our theater.”
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