Brunello Cucinelli Celebrates 70th Birthday and 45th Brand Anniversary in Style

In a remarkable celebration, Brunello Cucinelli marked his 70th birthday and the 45th anniversary of his eponymous brand in the picturesque village of Solomeo, Umbria, Italy, his beloved home.

Cucinelli, renowned for his unconventional yet highly successful approach to fashion, presented a debut runway display to commemorate these significant milestones. While he insisted it was a presentation rather than a traditional show, the event featured approximately 50 striking models who elegantly showcased his creations.

The diverse cast of models, including exotic beauties and mature gentlemen, gracefully paraded out of Solomeo’s theater, down an aisle, and posed against a backdrop of pale gray, adorned with four white Ionic columns and Mediterranean cypresses. A colossal head of the ancient Roman emperor Hadrian completed the scene, creating an almost spiritual procession, accompanied by the soaring cathedral-worthy chords of Parce Mihi Domine by Hilliard Ensemble & Jan Garbarek. Brunello Cucinelli himself made a grand entrance, dressed in pristine white and ecru linen.

The dress code for the occasion was defined by a palette of white, Panama, light gray, and beige, reflecting the audience’s impeccable taste, mirroring the designer’s signature blend of houndstooth check linen jerkins, ecru linen blazers, and pale chalk-stripe suits for men. Women donned sandy, fresh wool mannish suits, linen bloomers, boyish white cotton shirts, and tulle and satin shirt dresses with breastplates, showcasing Cucinelli’s timeless and flawless chic.

During his 25-minute speech, delivered in a gentle and sermon-like manner, Cucinelli drew inspiration from philosophical greats such as Hadrian, St. Dominic, Confucius, and Seneca. He interwove their quotations with personal anecdotes, highlighting his modest beginnings and the impact of his upbringing in the countryside without electricity.

Cucinelli’s speech left a profound impact on the audience, which included Patrick Dempsey, the brand ambassador of the house, who praised Cucinelli’s generosity and dedication to giving back.

Currently, Cucinelli is focused on constructing a 2,000-square-meter Biblioteca Universale (Universal Library) in his model village, inspired by the Emperor Hadrian, who famously declared books to be his first love. Hadrian’s rule was marked by the creation of semi-autonomous provincial towns and monumental projects, much like Cucinelli’s own journey from a one-man cashmere seller in 1978 to being ranked by Forbes as the 33rd richest person in Italy last year, with a net worth of €2.4 billion.

The evening continued with a spectacular post-show dinner featuring local Umbrian delicacies and Cucinelli’s beloved pasta, Mezzi Paccheri alla Vittorio, prepared live by chefs, including Martha Stewart. A string quartet played classical music during the main course, and an Italian band entertained guests with popular tunes during dessert.

The celebration reached its pinnacle when Cucinelli’s daughter, Carolina, presented him with a classic white statue of Apollo playing his lyre, symbolizing the reverence for Greek culture shared by both Cucinelli and Hadrian.

Brunello Cucinelli’s enduring legacy and commitment to philanthropy, sustainability, and timeless fashion were the focal points of this grand celebration, held in the heart of Umbria, where history and contemporary creativity seamlessly converge.