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Company

We - Brunello Cucinelli:

Brunello Cucinelli was born in Castel Rigone (Perugia) in 1953. Even as a young man, he was attracted by the dream of a job that cared more about human values. As a budding entrepreneur, he realized that colorful cashmere garments could be a fashion revolution so he dropped out of college in 1974, where he was studying engineering, and decided to start a business that would ultimately make him famous in just a few years. His first small company was based in Ellera di Corciano near Perugia. His first main markets were Germany and the United States, which enjoyed great economic stability. His company steadily grew and became quite well-known. He has boutiques in the main squares all over the world– in Milan, New York, Paris, Rome, London, Tokyo, Moscow, Geneva, Hamburg, Miami and Las Vegas – and shop-in-shops in the world’s finest department stores.

The group currently has more than 1,000 in-house employees and approximately 4,000 outside contractors. It does business around the world with over 1,000 high-end multi-brand boutiques, all in the luxury sector’s main export markets: the United States, Europe, Japan, Russia and the Far East.

Philosophy:

Beauty

The idea for the theatre came about in 2000 after a long period of study. The area next to the old town center of Solomeo was chosen as the site for the first phase of the great Forum of the Arts project, which was built in different stages. Its buildings and open spaces are organically interconnected according to a precise aesthetic and functional plan. The elegant, well-proportioned theater building was inspired by the late Renaissance designs of the Farnese theatre in Sabbioneta and Parma. It faces the large Amphitheatre for outdoor events and performances, and its restoration mirrors that of the Neo-Humanist Academy, where young people wishing to learn artisan trades come to study. The idea is similar to a Workshop-House based on the Arts and Trade Guilds

The idea for the theatre came about in 2000 after a long period of study. The area next to the old town center of Solomeo was chosen as the site for the first phase of the great Forum of the Arts project, which was built in different stages. Its buildings and open spaces are organically interconnected according to a precise aesthetic and functional plan. The elegant, well-proportioned theater building was inspired by the late Renaissance designs of the Farnese theatre in Sabbioneta and Parma. It faces the large Amphitheatre for outdoor events and performances, and its restoration mirrors that of the Neo-Humanist Academy, where young people wishing to learn artisan trades come to study. The idea is similar to a Workshop-House based on the Arts and Trade Guilds

Supreme Good

Work as an expression of human worth is also a part of spirituality, and pursues the higher purpose of Supreme Good,” Brunello Cucinelli likes to remark. Born and raised in Umbria, he experienced the Franciscan philosophy and took on the message of the Pauper of Assisi: apply the higher purpose of goodness to all that you do. Yet how can that be reconciled with a cutting-edge capitalist business? “Making a profit is part and parcel of business,” points out Cucinelli, “but for me it’s not the be all and end all. I wouldn’t want to live in a world where the sole purpose was to make a profit. Money has real value only when it is spent to improve the life and development of people, and that is our goal”. As a result of this profound conviction, a considerable portion of profits is reinvested in the company, and part goes towards restoring and renovating the hamlet. A new cultural system called “Forum of the Arts” has been created here and includes the theatre, the amphitheatre and the philosophers garden (where concerts and events are held). This is what Brunello Cucinelli means when he talks about elements and structures that improve people’s lives.

Humanist enterprise

In the medieval village of Solomeo, where the peacefulness of the Umbrian countryside and the wind still evoke the ora at labora (prey and work) ethic of Saint Benedict of Nursia and the mysticism of Saint Francis of Assisi, Brunello Cucinelli launched a new kind of business in 1985. “Making work more human, with people at its core”: is the dream of this Umbrian entrepreneur now famous around the world for his colorful cashmere collections. Scholars journalists have written of the profound affinity linking Brunello to ancient Masters of the Soul such as Socrates, Seneca and Saint Francis of Assisi: and that is why they refer to Cucinelli’s corporate philosophy as “ethical capitolism” and a “Humanist enterprise”.

“I have always dreamed of creating usefull work for an important objective. I felt that profit for profit’s sake was not enough, and that there had to be a higher, collective purpose. I understood that alongside economic well-being there has to be personal well-being, and that the former means nothing without the latter. “It is a courageous theory summarized in what Brunello Cucinelli calls “supreme good, which is centered on people:” giving business a meaning that goes beyond profit and reinvesting to improve the lives of worker, to enhance and restore the beauty of the world”.

Ethics

“A day will come when philosophers will be needed to rule the world.” I’ve always been fascinated by Sokrates’ dream. A Humanist enterprise, ethics and production… It became increasingly hard for me to abandon an interpretation of labor and human action that was not found upon a positive outlook and trust in the future. “Today it is apparent that international politics, great monotheistic religions and philosophical thought confirm the needed for a return to Ethics in every activity. In fact, the new economic approach aims at employee development and enhancement as a way to improve a company and to give it a sense that is not limited to mere profit: that is what Brunello Cucinelli calls “Supreme Good”. He is therefore an innovator or, succinctly, a businessman who successfully anticipated a global trend. At the Humanist enterprise of Solomeo, employees pursue a common goal, but one mainly senses a scale of non-material values that are considered a part of the entire company.

My creed

I believe in a humanist enterprise: business should comply in the noblest manner with all the rules of ethics that man has devised over the centuries. I dream about a form of modern capitalism with strong ancient roots, where profit is made without harm or offence to anyone, and part of it is set aside for initiatives that really make a difference in people’s lives: services, schools, places of worship and cultural heritage. In my organization the focal point is the common good, which is the guiding force in pursuing prudent and courageous actions. In my business, people are at the very center of every production process, because I am convinced that human dignity is restored solely through rediscovery of the conscience. Work elevates human dignity and the emotional ties that derive from it. On my daily path I heed the words of giants from the past, from Socrates and Seneca to Marcus Aurelius and Alexander the Great.