Friday, 25 June 2010

Brunello Cucinelli, high price, but high Quality? . . . . .



I must write this entry from a purely personal perspective, as it is essentially an observation of mine.  In earlier posts I have written about Brunello Cuccinelli's rustic style, and how they represent a sort of countrified Loro Piana, and picked up on one or two of their choice and most interesting pieces.  One thin not covered however was the quality of the construction.

I have found that the quality of construction of Brunello cuccinelli clothing is to say the least a little shoddy, I have purchased several garments from them including, but not exclusively - a couple of the cashmere sweater with the suede elbows, a couple of jackets one caban in cotton and one cashmere sports jacket, a pair of wool jeans, and a few long sleeved polo shirts.

In all these purchases I have found problems, with I am sad to say no exceptions, both the sweaters ripped under the arms, that is to say they came apart at the seams, the cotton caban had waist height pockets which simply tore at the edges after a couple of times worn, the hanger on the cotton caban tore, the suede patch on the cashmere jacket started to peel off, and the polo shirts had the same problem at the seams with coming apart.

Additionally if you actually look at the construction of the Cucinelli clothing and feel the quality of the materials, it really falls short of the brand it is obviously attempting to emulate (Loro Piana)  although the prices match and often exceed their far distant cousin, the quality is not a patch on LP.

And After doing a few brief web searches I have found I am not alone in this appraisal on Cucinelli's Handiwork, which certainly makes me at the very least feel validated, a few entries on Style Forum and Ask andy berate exactly the type of issues I raise here.

So it seems that although Brunello Cucinelli clothing is very stylish and elegant, it is not really designed or made to be sturdy or long lasting, a pity considering the inflated prices.  Perhaps if they diverted the funds they devote to making the smiles on their staff members faces so wide into the clothing, they might find a wider and more satisfied customer base as opposed to a shop staffed by highly paid well treated workers and average to poor quality clothing.

4 comments:

  1. I own several pieces of Cucinelli, as well as loro piana clothing (knitwear, jackets, pants, accessories). I think both are very well constructed and I try to take good care in handling them; so far they all held up to my expectation. I will say, that not all cashmere qualities are the same, even between two sweaters from the same company. A sweater made 10, 15 years ago are noticeably of higher cashmere qualities; this is true of both Cucinelli and Piana. Also, two sweaters of the same period may be different, a generic line of V neck long sleeve (hence about half the price) will be made of inferior cashmere than a special piece.

    A piece of clothing is also as good as the wearer takes care of it. You have to ensure what you buy is the proper fit (no excessive stretch or sagging); regular wear and meticulous maintenance are also crucial. There is no such thing as benign neglect. These clothing not made for the typical american wardrobe mentality- buy, wear and toss.

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    1. If all of the very special effort and attention that you suggest is needed to maintain an overpriced piece of clothing is also applied to a super cheap piece of clothing, then it is fair to say that even a cheap piece of clothing can be expected to last just as long.

      There are some articles of clothing and accessories that warrant spending a lot more . . . IMO, that is pretty much shoes, belts, and suits. I hate to say it, but a wool sweater of similar wool or cashmere is rarely justified by buying the super high end piece at often time 5 to 10 times the price. I have often found, at least with sweaters, the more expensive the sweather, the more quick it is to pill.

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  2. I am lucky enough to own about 30 Cuccinelli pieces. I do take care of them, but have found the quality is spectacular. They are very well made!
    Being handmade, sometimes a button or label will need to be resowed, but that's to be expected.

    I have no idea how your clothes are coming apart as you describe!!? Perhaps you should take better care of them or lose some weight.

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  3. Likewise I own 30+ cucinelli pieces and my beau has a handful as well. I would have to say the quality of cashmere is not always consistent. There are at least two pieces which are really only JCrew level quality and one piece of men's sweater that pilled horribly. Within the same brand there seems to be a big difference. Older pieces tend to be of much superior quality.

    The fit of the pants are also not always consistent- some are not as well designed.

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