Stepping Solomeo: Introducing Brunello Cucinelli Shoes
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The tale of Brunello Cucinelli begins as fairytales so often do: once upon a time, tucked deep in the countryside of Umbria, was a 14th-century castle and its small Italian village. It was a gentle, dreamy place — quiet and lovely, filled with rolling hills and the slightest scent of sage and rosemary. Life was simple, harmonious and sound. And then, one day in 1985, there was a slightest shift and this idyllic Umbrian village found its quiet destiny with the return of a bride and her groom.
“It was a bright day in early spring,” recalls designer Brunello Cucinelli in his book Solomeo, “I lifted my eyes to the mellow landscape of Solomeo, with its almost ruined castle and villa, the faraway mountains with their dark mantle of ilexes and cypresses and, further down, the vines, orchards and expanses of wheat lying in the dazing sunlight. Slowly [...], as though my soul were stupefied, arose a desire to dedicate myself one day — and why not? — to those places, to that task, and to the personal experimentation, in that Umbrian village.” And so the designer made the decision of a lifetime and embarked upon involving the entire village in his cashmere clothing company.
Restoring the castle and appointing it as headquarters, Cucinelli set upon employing nearly the entire village as weavers, administrators, brand developers and such. Even the landscape itself served its own purpose of inspiring the brand’s creative direction. Solomeo soon became a bustling village-factory, harmoniously weaving its history and tranquility into the company’s vision. Beginning with cashmere, Cucinelli soon expanded into Men’s Sportswear and Women’s Ready-to-Wear; season after season, the tiny village in Umbria continued to produce its pieces from its 14th-century castle. Its casual charm extended into its relaxed ready-to-wear looks: light layers loosely hugging one’s silhouette, filmy cashmere scarves generously looped around the neck; and rustic, tailored pieces for its gentlemen.
Among its women’s collection, one of Cucinelli’s most desired pieces is its rustic footwear. A stark contrast to the high arches and fiercely pointed-toes we so often see on Fashion City’s streets, Cucinelli’s collection of flat & heeled boots continues to uphold the brand’s Umbrian heritage of rustic luxury. Introduced as part of the Autumn/Winter 2009 collection, Cucinelli sought to complete their lifestyle aesthetic with styles that are comfortable, relaxed and ready for a wander through the hillsides or bustling city streets. Carefully crafted in Solomeo, Cucinelli’s boots are seen lined in shearling and tied up with a dusty lavender ribbon; they can sport a heavy, stacked heel and weathered round toe; they inch up the calf with a layered leg and hidden zip up the back; and they hint to Alpine hikes with a thick gray knitted laces that crisscross through thick rings and hooks.
These are the sort of boots you expect to see casually lined up — pellmell & a bit disheveled — in the muck room of a charming country home. They’re the boots that take you on afternoon ambles to the orchard (thin jeans tucked in, gray t-shirt, cashmere sweater casually slung over the shoulder… as though it were an afterthought). They’re for an afternoon picnic in October; dappled, golden light dancing through branches, white wine chilling in a wicker basket, leaves drifting through autumn’s cool, gentle breeze. It’s a slower pace: casual yet refined, ticking to the time of Solomeo.
Scroll to see images of the Brunello Cucinelli shoe collection
For more details, call 212 872 8947
SHOP BRUNELLO CUCINELLI SHOES
or call 212 872 8947