Italians have long been world-renowned for the quality of the textiles they produce, due in large part to the unparalleled work of Loro Piana. With a family history rooted in the wool trade and dating back six generations, the Loro Piana family’s mills have been instrumental in putting Italian-made fabrics on the map through their constant innovation, a spirit that continues today in the brand’s cutting-edge technical fabrics as well as in their full range of ready-to-wear, shoes, and accessories.
“As a lifestyle brand, Loro Piana is simply the highest quality you’ll find anywhere,” says John Totolis, Barneys VP/DMM of men’s tailored clothing. “They’ve famously been known for creating the best cashmere on the market, but the brand has reinvented itself by the sleek, modern shapes they’re producing in clothing and outerwear.”
Founded in its current iteration by Pietro Loro Piana in 1924, the fabric supplier has grown to become the world’s largest producer of fine cashmere, with raw materials sourced from Mongolia and China. Fleece from Hircus goats is collected by the brand’s Ulan Baatar facility for sorting, before being sent to on to the factories in Italy. And while the quality of this cashmere is unrivaled, the brand does have an exclusive material that’s even one step finer: Baby Cashmere.
Woven from the fleece of Hircus goat kids less than a year old, Baby Cashmere is softer and lighter than its adult counterpart. The fleece is harvested via a delicate combing process that can happen only once in the kid’s life and produces a mere 30 grams of fiber. That means it takes the fleece of up to 19 kids to produce a single pullover sweater. The baby goat’s fleece is 20% finer than it will be once grown, making it incredibly lofty. It took Mr. Loro Piana 10 years to convince the herders to set aside this first combing from the kids and to collect the necessary amount to begin creating pieces solely from this fiber. But one touch of Baby Cashmere and you’ll know that it was worth the effort and the wait.
“Cashmere, wool, silk, or blends of these materials together—right now the trend is to find the lightest weight in knitwear so that it can easily transition through spring and fall,” Totolis says. “But Loro Piana is leading the pack in this area, too. With their ultra-fine Baby Cashmere and their ever-improving blends, they continue to innovate and push the envelope of what’s possible.”
And when innovation meets quality, the result is sure to be a winning one. It’s Loro Piana’s commitment to excellence in every detail that makes it a real standout. “The customer who’s drawn to Loro Piana wants quality before anything else. He’s going to buy a sweater that he’ll own and love for the next twenty years, rather than something that will only be around for the current season,” Totolis tells us. “He’s a man who knows and appreciates quality.”