Photo: Corbis

Meet 2010's best-dressed foreman.

Cashmere, of course, is a fiber you see popping up in venues like Uniqlo and The Gap these days—a fact that compels us to draw attention to a man who was central to its popularization, and who continues to make unparalleled use of the fabric in its most luxurious incarnations. Brunello Cucinelli pioneered the dying of cashmere back in 1978 (until that point, beige was considered an exotic color for a fiber spun from nature’s finest wool), and he’s been turning out some of the world’s most beautifully made sweaters, scarves, coats (and robes, if you want to go there) ever since. In 1985, when other designers were busy buying yachts, Cucinelli purchased pretty much the entire Italian hilltop village of Solomeo, a picturesque collection of 14th-century cottages and a church that he’s invested ample resources in restoring. Today, Cucinelli’s wares are made there by a ridiculously skilled (and happy! see above) team of artisans. Cucinelli has also branched out from wool into full collections that include cotton and linen shirts, coats, and pants, all made with a relaxed-yet-put-together, quintessentially Italian look—like the one he himself flawlessly rocks day in and day out. And as part of his expansion, Cucinelli’s found another way of dealing with sheep—our sale today includes a couple of uber-luxe shearling jackets.

Brunello Cucinelli, on sale now at Gilt MAN.

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