From Our Archive
This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

Bruno Cucinelli’s Spring Palette

For fashion houses, color is often the most immediate expression of brand identity: Valentino red; Hermès orange; Tiffany blue. So if color is declarative, then one might say Italian clothier Brunello Cucinelli designs with hushed tones. “We want color to feel like a whisper in a roomful of noise,” the 59-year-old designer says.

For 34 years, Cucinelli has methodically explored the use of noncolor—or what he lovingly calls the neutral. Though his collections always include some gray and beige, he makes use of every shade in the chromatic spectrum by turning primary hues into heathery versions of themselves.

“I spent my youth in Umbria’s countryside,” Cucinelli says. “The colors of our region are part of my essence. The dark soil, the olive trees, the golden wheat fields—all these neutral elements are present in my collections.”

The result, and overall appeal of the brand, is a feeling of serenity: This muted palette makes a wardrobe appear lit by candlelight (and everyone knows they look best in soft lighting). As Cucinelli muses, “The clothes evoke the rustic simplicity of our values: humility, honesty and integrity.” And much like a neutral, these core values go well with everything.

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