Thursday, August 25, 2011

Brunello Cucinelli Perhaps The Most Globally Prominent Of Perugia’s Highly Successful Industrialists

Posted by Peter Quennell


The wealthy town of Perugia has not only a widely respected mayor, city administration, and justice system.

Its large main university houses some of the most advanced research and brightest academics in Europe. And the Perugia area is the home to some of Italy’s most successful industrialists.

The wildly successful fashion designer Brunello Cucinelli owns a worldwide chain of fashion stores, including a number in the United States. He has two stores in Manhattan and has just opened a new store in Las Vegas (images of the interior and his designs below).

His main factory is in Solomeo (image below) which is a stone’s throw to the west of Perugia, and just to the north of Capanne where Knox and Sollecito spend their days and nights The factory is in a converted castle (image below) and employs about 500 highly skilled and very well paid garment workers.

Mr Cucinelli has the reputation of being a really kind, decent, humane man. This description of him is from the Radio Netherlands Worldwide website.

Brunello Cucinelli’s business empire is doing very well thank you.

His range of luxury cashmere clothing has made him a wealthy man.  But, going against the grain of the image of the heartless industrialist, Mr Cucinelli believes in a new form of capitalism “where profit is used to improve the condition of human life.”

With that goal in mind, he is determined that his 500 workers should count themselves amongst the happiest factory workers in Europe.  They work not in a soulless factory building, but in a beautifully restored village nestled in the Umbrian hills in Italy.

The village of Solomeo has a 14th century castle at its heart, and its here that Cucinelli’s factory workers come, unimpeded by time clocks or mean bosses.  They eat a 3 course home cooked Italian lunch for a couple of euros, they’re paid an average of 20% than their counterparts in other factories, and a percentage of the business profits go to community arts and culture.

As a child, Cucinelli lived in a harmonious home, but saw his father ground down by his bosses at work, and determined that when he became a boss, he would never lose sight of his employees’ humanity.  And he’s kept that promise.

“I think this moment is the economic, moral and civil result of how we’ve behaved in the past 25 years. So I’m quite happy about this major change in humanity. I think we’ve had 25 years of universal economy in which we have all too often only worried about profit. I think that now something new is coming.”

Mr Cucinelli is again in the national news in Italy because he is contributing over one million dollars to restoring the fourth century Etruscan arch in Perugia (image at bottom) very close to what was once Meredith’s home. The arch is right across the street from Meredith’s language university, and she must have passed through it a number of times.

Some of Perugia’s lively discotheques are up through there, and the buses for discotheque goers that the witness Curatolo saw on the night head right up there. 

Meredith really admired personal qualities of hard work, caring, humaneness and diligent application. Mr Cucinelli is certainly an epitome of all of those.







Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/25/11 at 09:53 AM in The wider contextsPerugia context


Comments

8/25/11
Cucinelli’s humane policies and clever converted castle factory are so cool. A real success story, good for Italy and beyond.

Posted by Hopeful on 08/25/11 at 06:15 PM | #

Hi Hopeful. Yes I rather expected you above all to warm to him. And he is right in how business models are adjusting.

Providing that kind of work environment attracts the very best and they work long hours and fear goes away and their creativity ends up on steroids. It is only in this past decade that it has begun to sink in that treating the help like dirt is a quick way to fail a business and that perception is still not very widespread.

Steve Jobs has some of Brunello’s qualities and his staff would follow him over a cliff! I am saddened by how Steve Jobs is going out.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/25/11 at 06:57 PM | #

Mr. Cucinelli is a good example of what fixing a small piece of the world means.

I hope that at some point he’ll come out with a pret-a-porter collection.  His collections are dreamy, but far out of the reach of most people.

Posted by Vivianna on 08/25/11 at 07:38 PM | #


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