Solomeo, Italy –“When we started the school we never thought that the demand would be so high,” said Brunello Cucinelli, founder the eponymous brand that has made the Umbrian country lifestyle famous around the world.
The “School of Craftsmanship” was born in 2013 in Solomeo, an old medieval town Mr. Cucinelli has called home for nearly five decades. Since its inception they received hundreds of applications for only a handful of spots.
The school has four main curricula: the disciplines of Mending and Linking, Cutting and Assembly, Tailoring, and Masonry, established with the intent of enhancing village of Solomeo and the landscape that was once left to ruin before the Cucinelli family invested their own money in reviving the valley that surrounds their 14th century headquarters.
In an attempt to improve working conditions for fashion’s craftsmen and machinists, Cucinelli has established odd rules at his company, such as 1 hr 30 min lunch breaks and no emails after 1730. The school is no exception.
“The long-term goal of the Solomeo School: to reverse this tendency and start a regenerative process – a sort of neo-renaissance
of the noble values of craftsmanship – while giving young people trust in the future once more,” the company said, noting that it pays 700 euros per month to its students and 1,200 euros per month for the students on the tailoring path.
While Cucinelli is currently not vested in a bespoke suit business, it is showing the next generation how to make suits through a master Perugian tailor. The program has attracted students who have studied fashion academies or have even worked in theater.