“Hamlet” is Cucinelli’s word of choice to describe Solomeo, and indeed, though the company now employs more than 1,000 people (mostly locals), the hilltop village retains the look and feel of a bygone era. This is small-town Italy perfected, in no small part thanks to Cucinelli, who has over the years restored, protected, and beautified many parts of town. In his view, betterment of communities, even whole societies, can happen just as effectively in a tiny town like this as it can in an urban center. Think local, act local...the rest will follow.
“In Solomeo we have restored that vital relationship between the center and the outskirts that no longer exists in so many places,” he says of the latest addition, “We focused on carefully restoring every little detail and this was done continually with affection in memory of our fathers. We have restored more than built and our only addition was a monument to secular culture, the Theater.”
The semi-circular piazzetta flanked by marble monoliths is the concrete manifestation of Cucinelli’s world-view and business philosophy. According to him, every pillar of civil society—politics, economics, ecology—starts with an imperative to treat each human with respect. The man practices what he preaches. For every employee, hours are strictly 9 to 5:30, with a mandatory 90 ministers for paccheri and burrata in the company canteen during which email shuts off (as it does every evening and weekend). Quality of life equals quality of product. That—in this age of fast fashion, fast communication, fast everything—is the not-so-simple formula for Cucinelli’s success. And you can see and feel it in every product.
And feel it you can in the knitwear. Cucinelli uses the cashmere produced in Solomeo, like in this blended crewneck, in his designs. And starting today, he’s collaborating with Mr. Porter on a special, 60-piece project of day-to-evening transitional wardrobe pieces for the modern man—perfect for Cucinelli’s hometown or yours.