The Gallery Vittorio Emanuele II
The Gallery Vittorio Emanuele II

MILAN, Jan 18, 2003/  — Turning up a well-bred nose to the disagreeable economy, Loro Piana continues to churn out its exclusive luxury goods for fall. The Italian cashmere specialist, who recently morphed from one of the world’s premiere high-end textile manufacturers to a full-fledged brand name with its own luxury outposts, supplies needlessly gorgeous items to a clientele that doesn’t bat an eyelash at pricey elegance.

Today, one might be tempted to wonder if many of these deep pockets are still in active operation. But according to Robert Burke, senior fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman, these big spenders are still alive and spending very well. At a luxury emporium like Bergdorf, for example, Burke says that, “the highest product level represents one of the most consistent areas for us. We’re not seeing a drop here, in fact, this is where we’re seeing increases.”

Bergdorf stocks the whole Loro Piana men’s collection, which it sees as a key top-tier player. “It epitomizes luxury,” Burke says. A glance at next fall’s fox fur blankets lined in milky cashmere and trimmed with cream suede, and one can only think of the opulence of a sleek private jet or the cozy interior of a ski chalet as an appropriate backdrop.

Loro Piana’s broad product mix already includes outerwear, clothing, a home line and leather accessories, and this fall the brand will introduce a new line of made-to-order ties. Just like its custom-made suiting and made-to-order home pieces, the ties are hand crafted to specification in either silk or cashmere. Loro Piana’s detail-driven clients will appreciate the choice of 12 variations on the shade of blue as well as their name hand-stitched on the tie.

Also worth mentioning this season is the company’s registered storm-system technology, a protective coating applied to delicate fabrics to fully seal out water and wind. New pieces like a Serengeti jacket, safari-style with removable sleeves and hidden suspenders that features the new technology, give even the most elegant of estate dwellers a reason to tap into fashion’s current craze for sport utility.

Truly indulgent pieces will not fall by the wayside next fall though. Making a comeback are the real chinchilla fur blankets, which are softer than a pile of warm butter but a bit tougher to swallow at $50,000. Bergdorf, which bought three of the dazzlers this season, sold all three without a hitch. Burke says that, “if the customer wants a great product, price will be no object in today’s economy. We’ll look at them again.” That’s good news for Loro Piana.