MILAN — Throughout her career, Nicole Kidman has never shied away from making bold sartorial choices. One of her latest fashion statements shined the light on Brunello Cucinelli, whose brand has been gradually and steadily garnering red carpet visibility.
In December, Kidman made a guest appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” to discuss her role as Lucille Ball in “Being the Ricardos,” and the Academy Award-winning actress once again made an impression, shimmering in a Brunello Cucinelli spring 2022 tailored pantsuit. In a honey-taupe color lit up by a cascade of sequins, the end effect was one of a glamorous yet highly sophisticated look, and appropriate for the occasion.
Also in December, at the San Francisco premiere of “The Matrix Resurrections,” Keanu Reeves wore a classic dark suit over a white shirt and a regimental tie — nodding perhaps to a potential return of that recently neglected accessory — all by Brunello Cucinelli.
Having become the go-to luxury fashion resource for tech titans ranging from Jack Dorsey, formerly of Twitter, to Jeff Bezos (including a much criticized look the Amazon founder wore on New Year’s Eve), Cucinelli now aims to gain the same high profile on the Hollywood red carpet. In fact, the company took its collection to Los Angeles in December to show to stylists and stars in advance of the upcoming round of awards shows and movie premieres — many of which have now, unfortunately, been postponed or canceled due to the Omicron variant. The brand, more widely known for its men’s wear, also aims to boost its profile in women’s going forward, which will be helped by the likes of Kidman wearing its clothes.
“I am very happy to see these young women and men wearing our clothes, but especially because they are attracted by our style and our taste and because they watch our company and how it behaves — they are not under contract,” said Cucinelli of his Hollywood fans. “They wear our designs with pleasure because they know how our products have been made and how we behave, in harmony with the universe, and how we value manual craftsmanship and quality.”
Cucinelli spoke about his conversations with “the exceptional” Angelina Jolie, who wears his clothes “privately.”
“She does so much for children and she was asking us about the Brunello Cucinelli for Humanity project. We can do things together,” he said, referring to his new label, launched in 2020, in the midst of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Cucinelli takes unsold, out-of-season merchandise and, rather than mark it down to generate some revenues or ship it off to a discounter, instead it is simply given away.
Similarly, Sharon Stone, who is also active in several charity projects, approached Cucinelli to collaborate on donations.
Human sustainability and humanistic capitalism have long been the foundations of his company, which translate into “working and living in harmony with creation,” and the entrepreneur made a reference to the invitation he received from Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi to speak at the G20 meeting in Rome in October on these issues. “People put all this together and are drawn by the way we behave,” he contended.
Cucinelli — who spoke before the company’s preliminary year-end results were reported on Monday — underscored the importance of “a healthy and sustainable balance between profit and giving back, which, with reconciling work and human privacy, and the desire to repair and reuse, are core values of our Casa di Moda and we have always tried to direct our activity following these high and noble principles.”
This may very well be, but it is also true that Cucinelli has never fully abandoned the production of tailored looks, even at the height of the sportswear trend and this is serving him well, as people are eager to return to dressing up for events, he opined.
“After this latest wave, in two or three months, there will be many more events and everyone will want to dress well,” he said. “It can be done in a fresher way, pairing a sneaker with a sartorial or made-to-measure look, for example.”
While looking ahead to more carefree times, the Omicron variant has put the brakes on Cucinelli’s participation at Pitti Uomo, scheduled to be held in Florence Tuesday through Thursday, as reported. This was characterized as “a difficult decision, but one that is believed to be indispensable.” However, the brand will be on the international men’s wear trade show’s digital platform, Pitti Connect.
The brand’s men’s fall 2022 sales campaign will take place as planned, with the help of a medical station that will test clients and collaborators at the Brunello Cucinelli showrooms in Milan, New York and Shanghai. Cucinelli will show the brand’s men’s fall collection in Milan on Saturday, as part of the city’s men’s fashion week.
“We believe this is a decision based on a healthy understanding of the current situation Italy and the whole world are experiencing,” said Cucinelli. “We also believe it is a choice made with the same sense of responsibility felt over the past few months and that we hope will lead to a return of a normalcy of life and human relations. I believe in hope, also accepting what we can’t change, as Thomas More said. At the end of the year, we’ve had time to pause, think and reflect. The pandemic is about to pass and we’ve had time to look up at the sky.”
Cucinelli, who holds the role of executive chairman and creative director of his publicly listed company, said he has “solid expectations for the next two years, where we confirm our expectations of a nice, healthy and balanced growth of around 10 percent in both 2022 and 2023,” based on the orders for the spring 2022 collection and the “very positive sales trend” of the fall 2021 season.