Brunello Cucinelli prays for end of war in Ukraine, predicts return to elegance
Quoting Thucydides, the designer of Italian fashion Brunello Cucinelli said Saturday his gut feeling is the war in Ukraine may end soon, speaking at a presentation where he predicted the return of elegance.
“I want to believe that is not a war waged by the Russian people, but a war rather caused by one man, Putin, first and foremost,” argued Cucinelli, at a breakfast display of his brand in Milan.
“The war is bound to end, and I think it will end soon, as there are wise people involved who will strike a balance… And my hope is that the world does not become prejudice against Russian people. Because this could be prolonged for 20 years. Personally, I struggle in these modern times to believe that a whole population would want a war. It is their rulers who have started this war,” added Cucinelli.
Since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, Brunello Cucinelli has closed down all three of its boutiques in Russia. And due to sanctions, like all Italian brands, the house can only sell products costing less than 300 euros to Russian consumers. Meaning nothing for most luxury marques.
A noted reader of history and philosophy, Cucinelli has covered the walls of his headquarter village Solomeo in Umbria with quotations by poets, thinkers and sages. Looking back in the history, he mused on the lessons of Ancient Greece in considering today’s conflict.
“Solon from the 5th century B.C. was one of the seven wise men of mankind. And, as he ruled Athens so well, the Athenians begged him to stay in office forever. But Solon declined saying, ‘I run the risk of becoming a tyrant. Remember, my esteemed Athenians that from a throne of a tyrant nobody has ever stepped down alive.’ And I find that a metaphor of everything that is going on today.”
“In 431 B.C., Sparta wanted to wage war against Athens, according to Thucydides. At that time, Pericles had been in power for 30 years. With Athens in decline, Pericles the champion of democracy, said to himself, ‘Empire is tyranny. For you cannot exit from any empire without cost’.”
“Then in 1648, the Thirty Years War – where the whole of Europe took part - was ended with the Peace of Westphalia. How? By the seconds in command negotiating, and finding peace. So I keep believing in the wisdom of men. And that tyrannical empires are doomed,” added Cucinelli, attired in a micro-pinstripe blue double- breasted suit with pearly white buttons, and white tennis shoes.
This season, Brunello used a color range of ginger-hued red, salmon orange, sunflower yellow and multiple variations blue – from pacific to periwinkle – to create one of his freshest collections ever. Concentrating on two-button jackets with long lapels, or dandy double-breasted blazers with contrasting buttons – always paired with tapered trousers that finish at the ankle bone. Sartorial Italy happily laid back – all the better to consider the eternal verities.
In fashion terms, he insists, men are returning to well-made clothes in which they can work and play.
“I believe very strongly in tailoring. Whether you wear a suit with sneakers, or with or without a tie. It’s about dressing up again. There’s a certain duty to look your best each day!”
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