luca faloni cashmere knitwear

A Cashmere Masterclass with Luca Faloni

The Italian designer is calling on his customers to buy better and buy less. Here’s why his cashmere is a worthy investment…

Founded in 2014, the Italian designer’s eponymous brand was built on a solid, triple-reinforced foundation of integrity, sustainability and quality. When he set out, Faloni intended to create garments that would stand the test of time — and vowed to stick to processes and production techniques that would protect the environment. After all, why master the art of knitwear if global warming was going to rumble on? Nobody wears a sweater in a heatwave…

So how did he start out? What first steps could a modern designer take to ensure environmentalism is woven into every fibre and fabric of their collection? For Faloni, it began with the right mindset. Before he even cut his first pattern, the designer rethought his approach to the entire concept of retail.

Rather than fast fashion, he slammed on the brakes and proceeded to create a timeless capsule collection of slow fashion. These garments would be elegant, graceful, simple — and thus always stay in style. The idea of a ‘permanent wardrobe’ permeated every business move, from absorbing customer feedback to meticulously refining each garment year-after-year.

Six years on, the brand has listened to the wishes and whims of hundreds of customers, re-cut and revised designs over and over — and discovered ever-new and exciting ways to increase both the quality and sustainability of its materials.

So, whether it’s linen sourced from one of Italy’s oldest mills, brushed cotton brought in from Grandi & Rubinelli, or full grain leather found in the comuni of Tuscany, Luca Faloni is leading the way in fine fabrics and well-made materials. And each producer — hand-picked by the man behind the brand — has been chosen for its long history of expertise, tradition and prestige.

Rather than fast fashion, Faloni slammed on the brakes and proceeded to create a capsule collection of slow fashion...

Because Faloni grew up in Italy, surrounded by a strong culture of artistic, artisanal influence. Creative communities raised him — and it wasn’t until the entrepreneur moved away from his homeland that he realised the extent to which he’d taken quality and style for granted. Many of these producers had never even provided for a brand outside of Italy until Faloni came knocking — and he wanted to change this.

Today, these partnerships — friendships, even — are mutually beneficial. Faloni enjoys skilfully made products, the artisans enjoy transparent, fair business dealings — and we customers enjoy some of the best garments to ever wear the ‘Made in Italy’ label. Even the goats are winners — which brings us to the cashmere…

Luca Faloni uses only the purest cashmere and silk-cashmere from Cariaggi Fine Yarns — a brand, that, in 2006 was awarded a certification in eco-management. In 2015, Cariaggi also originated the ‘Organic Cashmere’ project — which saw a herd of Cashmere Goats sent to freely graze across an unspoiled area of Mongolia. Here, the animals are cared for by a trusted family of shepherds — who prize the animals’ wellbeing above even the wool itself.

As a result, the yarn is some of the finest in the world. And it is this softest and warmest of materials that Luca Faloni has spun into the Cashmere Timeless Collection; a selection of sweaters, cardigans and hoodies that will stand the demanding tests of durability, fashion and time. Because good cashmere, Faloni reveals, can last for over a decade if cared for appropriately.

luca faloni cashmere knitwear

So what makes this cashmere so special? Created using the undercoat of those lucky Mongolian Cashmere Goats, the resulting fabric is woven from ultra-fine hairs with strong insulating properties. It may be more expensive than wool, but there’s a reason for that; to make one jumper, you’ll need two years’ worth of yarn from one goat.

It’s a patient art. But those words keep ringing true: ‘Buy cheap, buy twice’. Because, when it comes to cashmere, the investment is worth it. This is a material up to three times warmer than wool, immeasurably softer and considerably lighter. It doesn’t itch, doesn’t pill and won’t shrink or warp out of shape. It may require a little more care, but what’s a little delicate washing detergent when it comes to the longevity of luxury?

The lesson learnt by Luca Faloni — and the same message he is keen to pass on to his customers — is this; buy better. Look for garments where the quality, the care and sustainability is woven into every spun yarn and stitch. Because only then can we slow down our runaway consumption of fashion, and build wardrobes truly worth our time.

luca faloni cashmere knitwear

Luca Faloni: Buy Better

Read more

Want more from the Italian brand? Luca Faloni’s shirts are cut from a different cloth…

Become a Gentleman’s Journal member. Find out more here.