The Cucinelli family, from left: Riccardo Stefanelli, Carolina Cucinelli, Alessio Piastrelli, Brando Piastrelli-Cucinelli, Federica Cucinelli, Penelope Stefanelli-Cucinelli, Brunello Cucinelli, Camilla Cucinelli, and Vittoria Stefanelli-Cucinelli, all in their own clothing and accessories.
“For me, Christmas is a great spiritual feast. Not so much religious, but of the soul,” says Brunello Cucinelli, the Italian designer known for his luxurious cashmere knits and slow, philosophical approach to fashion. He grew up in a farming community near Perugia, and rather than run his eponymous business out of the style capital of Milan, he made the decision, in 1985, to move his home and headquarters to Solomeo, a medieval hamlet in the hills of Umbria.
“I was born in a small village, and I live in a small village,” he says. “It would be difficult for me to imagine Christmas anywhere else.” The picture he paints of the holiday season in Solomeo is storybook perfect: a log in the fireplace so gigantic that it burns all night long; a small juniper tree decorated with tangerines; a miniature crèche in every window; glasses of milk left out foron Christmas Eve. And, of course, there’s music.
On Christmas Day, the family—including Cucinelli’s 100-year-old father and young grandchildren—gathers for a lunch of cappelletti in brodo, a traditional holiday dish of delicate dumplings in a clear broth. Their gifts are defined by warmth and comfort; one tradition is to give one another vinyl records that will be played during gatherings. This year, Cucinelli has his eye on a Pink Floyd box set. (“I grew up with Pink Floyd. For me, it was always music to look at the sky to,” he says.
And for the past 43 years, the company present is always a classic work of literature. Previous examples include
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