Jan 5, 2023
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Brunello Cucinelli issues epistle celebrating youth for the Epiphany

Jan 5, 2023

Brunello Cucinelli, Italy’s fashion philosopher, has issued an open letter celebrating youth, timed for just before the Epiphany, the Christian feast that celebrates the three Magi kings first visit to the Infant Jesus.

Brunello Cucinelli - Brunello Cucinelli

Entitled, Letter to the future sentinels of Humanity, the 1,100-word epistle is a call for a new sense of humanism among Generation Y and Z.
“In these days approaching the end of the year, when we all, in the serenity of our hearts, look at our recent and distant past and take stock of it; in this serene time when we look at the horizons of a bright future, my thoughts turn to you, young people. I love you deeply, and I see you all through the eyes of a father and a man who always thinks with his soul turned towards the future. You are for me like the salt of the earth, the grown-ups and sentinels of tomorrow, worthy, like every other human being, of living in pursuit of happiness,” writes the 69-year-old designer.

Cucinelli, who founded his own brand in 1978 is known as a philanthropic and humanist entrepreneur, who gave long-term artisans and employees huge bonuses when his fashion house went on the Milan stock market in 2012.
“I wasn't much different from you, at your age. Today I am a man who has followed his special dream, someone who has finally fulfilled the ancient desire, born out of my teary-eyed father offended at work, the dream of living humanistically towards himself and towards others. This, I think often, makes my intention noble,” continues the designer. Referring to an often-mentioned incident in his childhood when he found his father in tears after being insulted by one of his bosses, vowing that if he ever gained a position of power he would behave with more decency.
Arguing that he regards his childhood poverty as a “gift and not as a condemnation,” nor lacking in food or happiness, which he “found every day in the beauty of nature: the dawns white as lilies, the skies blazing blue and red, the first sun slowly drying the silver dew, the murmuring music of the rain in the woods, the noble procession of the seasons.”

Solomeo - Brunello Cucinelli

Since then, Brunello has created a brand whose annual revenues should brush one billion euros this year. Allowing him to renovate Solomeo, a medieval hamlet in his native region of Umbria into an idyllic creative lab and modern factory town, boasting its own winery, theatre, conference room, library, giant monument to human dignity and streets dotted with sayings and aphorisms by ancient and noble philosophers.
"Wealth," cautions this billionaire cashmere king, "is only light to bear if it is turned into a gift," making it acceptable to the righteous man.
“You might encounter grief in life, unfortunately, as a creeping enemy who awaits each one, lurking in the future. But at the same time pain, as so many ancient scholars teach us, is a gift, and as Oscar Wilde put it, who had it as a companion for over two years in the Reading prison, 'it is the most sensitive of all created things',” adds Cucinelli, who sprinkles quotes by famous writers throughout all his conversations.

“Sight is the viaticum of every sustainably happy life and is among the most precious gifts we have received from humanity. Leon Battista Alberti, who made the winged eye his artist's coat of arms, knew it well,” continues the designer, referring to the ultimate Renaissance man and master architect. Alberti’s famous scrolled additions to Santa Maria della Novella are located just around the corner from Fortezza da Basso, the nerve center of Pitti, the giant menswear salon where Brunello will present his latest fashion ideas next week.
Ending in an exaltation to the young generation to “refrain from anger, which clutters the ways of the soul and prevents heaven from blowing its enchantments upon it. Until now, partly through our fault as parents who have passed on to you the idea of work almost as a punishment for not being proficient at school, sometimes you have had your hopes dimmed. Now is the time to embark on a new vision: it is not easy to own one's soul, but you are among those who can do it… Remember that one noble gesture redeems more than one mistake. Never feel that you are better than others, because in all of us there is always room for great ideas. Be considerate towards others, in your family affections, in your studies, in your work, in your love life, because if you remain too focused on yourself, the right path will remain uncertain. Happiness lies not so much in possessing the thing we love, but in loving what is worthy of love. May Creation protect us! Brunello.”

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