Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What brand of sweater did William wear for the engagement photo to Kate?

Obviously William can pretty much afford to buy any brand of sweater his heart desires.  For this very important engagement photo with him and Kate, he decided to wear a sweater by Brunello Cucinelli. 

Brunello was born in 1953 in Perugia.  In 1978, he decided to go into cashmere business.  In 1985, he bought a dilapidated 14th century castle of Solomeo on the outskirts of Perugia.  He has operated his company from the castle since.  Today the company has about 500 employees and 1000 outside contractors. 

What sets BC apart from other fashion houses is that he treats all his workers with compassion and dignity.  Garment workers are known to be stuck in a cramp area where they work none stop.  But at BC, they are surrounded by orchards and take hour and half lunch breaks.  There are no time cards to punch and no security camera around to make sure people are actually working.   At BC, everything is on an honor system.

Together with happy workers, exceptional knitting skills, and finest cashmere one can find (Only the fur in a very limited area of the goat’s throat is used), Brunello's cashmere sweaters are ranked right up there with Loro Piana's with the price to match (William's sweater will set you back an eye watering $830).

Why spend that money when you can get a cashmere sweater at some department stores for less than $100 if not $50?  You get what you pay for always rings true in this case.  Lesser quality cashmere will pill and sag.  When you stretch your cashmere sweater, does it go go back into shape?  Lesser quality will not.  When you holdup your cashmere sweater to sky, do you see much of it?  Good quality cashmere with finest yarn has density to it thus you should not see much sky.  Beware of the super soft cashmere sweaters, that means they are over-milled and will loose its shape.  Best cashmere sweater will get softer as you hand wash them and should last years.  In addition to all of these, there is also sustainability factor to farming for cashmere.  Cashmere goats (mostly from Mongolia) doesn't just eat grass, they yank the whole grass up by the roots.  Part of the reason why Beijing gets hit by sandstorm yearly is that all the sands are blown down from Mongolia because they are not being held down by vegetation.  Sustainable cashmere means the goats will have to be kept in enclosures and fed regularly so they don't tear up all the grass.

More history of Brunello Cucinelli can be found on their own website and their goods can be purchased at Barney's New York, Bergdorf Goodman, and Saks Fifth Avenue.  

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