MILAN — Italy’s Albini Group celebrated its 140th anniversary at Milan’s Palazzo Clerici on Wednesday, as 600 guests milled about the 18th-century venue strewn with pillows covered in Albini shirt fabrics to honor the family-run company’s heritage.
“We are the number-one shirt fabric maker in Europe — that’s something to celebrate,” said Silvio Albini, president and chief executive officer of Albini 1876, as he greeted guests and posed for pictures throughout the evening at the palace’s entrance.
The Albini Group officially changed the name of Cotonificio Albini, the brand Silvio Albini’s family started in 1876, to Albini 1876 on the occasion of the anniversary. The name change came about because it better represents the company and is easier to pronounce.
The parent company Albini Group consists of Albini 1876, Thomas Mason, David & John Anderson and Albiate 1830. Together they produce over 20,000 fabric variations and export to over 80 countries. In 2015, the group’s revenues rose to 148.5 million euro, or $164.8 million, from 145 million euros, or $192.7 million, in 2014.
Albini fabrics are present in high-end collections such as Berluti, Brooks Brothers, Dior and Purple Label Ralph Lauren.
At the event, a tribute wall was adorned with greetings from Albini customers worldwide.
“It’s been a pleasure working with the Albini family for many years. I appreciate our friendship and so enjoy working with you and your team. Quality people and quality products,” J. Crew ceo Mickey Drexler wrote.
“Albini is certainly one of the most important shirt makers in the world,” Milano Unica president Ercole Botto Poala said.
Botto Poala, who is also ceo of Biella-based woolmaker Reda 1865, said, “In the textile realm, we come from different worlds, but we share common values based on quality and excellence.”
Textile trade show Milano Unica ended a three-day run on Thursday.
Guests were invited to tour the palace and view its “Magnificent Room,” which was frescoed by artist Tiepolo in 1741. They danced to a DJ set by Princess Scilla Ruffo di Calabria and a live performance by the Nice, France-based party band Phly Boyz, which sang rockabilly classics from Elvis Presley to Italian classics like “Volare.”
In addition, Albiini hired mezzo soprano Madelyn Renee, pianist Nelson Calzi, tenor Timothy Jon Sarris, soprano Emily Roelle and baritone Tommaso Caramia to fill the courtyard with opera.
For the occasion, Albini tapped Egyptian-Italian model and actress Elisa Sednaoui as the Albini brand ambassador. Sednaoui collaborated on a photo campaign celebrating the beauty and simplicity of cotton, especially Egyptian Giza cotton.
Between 2010 and 2012, the Albini Group worked on replanting the endangered plant and now the company has its own cultivation in Egypt.
“The use of the best Italian fabrics is more and more a must for customers wanting to improve their quality-price ratio, their value, image and innovation, as our customers are ever more well-informed, demanding and sophisticated,” Albini said.