08 april 2016
The World of Pier Luigi Loro Piana
At the head of the Loro Piana house, this tireless traveler travels the world in search of the finest fibers which make the excellence of the brand, both in the luxury ready-to-wear than in fabrics for interiors. For the tenth anniversary of the Interiors department, threads are taking the form of an artwork by the American artist Sheila Hicks.
Sweetness hangs by a thread…
If softness sometimes seems to desert our daily life and the contemporary world, it is not ready to disappear. It is still the subject of a search or even an obsession. Those who have tasted for example incomparable feeling of wellbeing that produces contact of the finest cashmere directly on the skin, know what the word gentle means. Pier Luigi Loro Piana made this sweetness then the quest of a lifetime.
Pier Luigi Loro Piana found gold in the Andes
Born in a family of Italian textile industrial for six generations, marked by the sense of innovation and taste for excellence, he took over the reins of the firm with his brother Sergio in the 70s.
Together they develop finer fibers, superfine wools, cashmere, to discover twenty years later in the Andean pampas unfolds a drama: the vicuna, a type of wild little alpaca with a thin muzzle and long legs, scattered in the high and cold desert plateau of the Andes, between 3500 and 5800 meters altitude, is disappearing! This frail herbivore, defenseless, when a storm appears, has no shelter: he then layers by stretching his neck to the ground. Its only protection is on its chest: long white hair almost as fine as silk, measuring up to 30 centimeters long: the Andean gold! To save the endangered animal, slaughtered for its fleece, Pier Luigi deploys all its forces and urges the Government of Peru in an unprecedented operation to rescue species. It supports farmers so that they release them after mowing creates a reserve of 2,000 hectares in the Pampas and reintroduced the vicuna in the international market.
Pier Luigi Loro Piana has constantly been traveling the world to find the rarest fabrics.
In 2013, Argentina this time, he bought the majority of shares of a corporation authorized to shear vicunas living in freedom in an area of 85,000 hectares. Saving softness requires full commitment!
He has no time to lose and yet he knows that without taking it, you can not build. Peru to Argentina through China, Mongolia, Australia, New Zealand and Myanmar, wherever a piece of smooth cache was likely to find this tireless traveler who never lets the thread of his passion. Imagine the Mongolian steppe around Ulaanbaatar. Each year, the Mongol horsemen roam vast distances on horseback to exchange their wool bales against cash. The first to arrive will be best served. Loro Piana brothers established a ritual: every year, they fitted a convoy of jeeps to go to meet the riders, the heart of the steppe, five hundred kilometers from the capital. Under the cordial relationship they have forged with the Government of Mongolia, the Loro Piana were the first foreigners to settle in this country a fully foreign-owned factory: Loro Piana Mongolia Ltd. is recovered cashmere supply in its original birthplace, sorts the raw material on site and sends the fine fibers in Italy. Patience is golden, to produce the Baby Cashmere, for example. A little kid will do in his life a tiny tuft of thirty grams of hair taken during its first year of life. And it took persuasion to convince the shepherds, to the end of the world background, remove only the minimum! The ultimate! No more no less. Thirty grams vested in the infinite sweetness of this side of the world.
And on the side of New Zealand, Loro Piana has initiated a work of selecting the best animals from the Merino breed.
After launching an annual competition of the finest wool (less than twelve microns), and beating finesse records at the World Record Bale, the brand was able to transform this material in exclusive fabrics produced in limited series. The state of the art.
When the man does not jump from one plane to another or is not sailing on his sloop, he is testing on the ski slopes new developed materials: such as the Storm System, a patented process of natural fibers making the cashmere and wool or the cashmere and silk association waterproof and breathable .
On horseback, by boat, by car…
Everything that contributes to travelling is part of the brand’s universe. It is therefore natural that Loro Piana in 2013 joined the LVMH group, joining the array of Louis Vuitton and its luxurious and nomadic trunks
The taste of the cocoon found after a long trip probably inspired Pier Luigi and his brother Sergio the creation, ten years ago, of the interior textile department of Loro Piana. Great idea that allows aficionados of the softness to carpet their floors with a 100% cashmere two-centimeters thick carpet (aptly named Step to Heaven) or the decorations of a bed vicuna or to pad the walls of a boudoir with Prince of Wales patterned wool. This new cycle is an opportunity today to express within the brand a passion for art.
The excellence of Loro Piana sublimated into art by Sheila Hicks at the “Mi Art” in Milan
Collector, photography amateur, Pier Luigi has thus entrusted artists to turn the excellent fibers into timeless beauty. After a first collaboration in 2015 with the California artist Pae White, who has created a work from Loro Piana thread, it was the turn of Sheila Hicks, « the fibers artist” American with an international fame, to present a work in the Cashmere Life lounge area of Loro Piana at the Mi Art, modern and contemporary art fair in Milan from April 8 to 10. “How touching exclaims Pier Luigi Loro Piana, to discoverer in Sheila Hicks this predilection for natural raw materials, and to share it with all those who, like us, are passionate! “.. A second work of Sheila Hicks will be visible in the new Loro Piana showroom in Milan during Design Week.
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