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Loro Piana Raises the Bar

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By now we’ve seen countless companies—from J.Crew to Brioni—proclaim their allegiance to Loro Piana’s cashmere, but the real luxury of the brand lies in its finished goods, which now account for almost 85 percent of its revenue.

It was back in the early 1990s that brothers Sergio and Pier Luigi Loro Piana (great-nephews of founder Pietro Loro Piana) noticed that casual and sporting items weren’t available in the luxury market. “It was a more formal time back in the ’80s,” says Sergio, who now runs the company with his brother. (Pier Luigi handles the company’s ever-present textile business.) “There was a market for nice suits, tuxedos, ties and shoes but nothing for a man who was hunting, sailing, golfing, horseback riding or even just traveling.”

Loro Piana started production with the simplest item—a cashmere scarf—and continued on to its Horsey jacket, which gained notoriety when Italy’s show-jumping equestrian team wore it at the 1992 Olympics, in Barcelona. The jacket is still sold alongside other iconic designs, like the Icer jacket, regardless of season. “It’s more personality over status—it’s about quality, not trends,” says Sergio. Seasonal collections include updates on timeless pieces—the San Francisco peacoat shown above, for example, is a reinterpretation of the double-breasted overcoat, done in new double-cashmere jersey; the sweater is an update on the classic Loro Piana crewneck, done in single-ply cashmere; and the Soft Walk suede boots have the deck-shoe feature of all Loro Piana footwear. loropiana.com.

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