Referred to as the "King of Cashmere", Italian luxury fashion brand Brunello Cucinelli has opened its first Canadian location in Vancouver. It joins a number of other premium brands in Vancouver's 'Luxury Zone'. Sources say that Cucinelli also continues to seek retail space in Toronto's Yorkville area, ideally on or close to Bloor Street West.
The 2,700 square foot Vancouver boutique opened last week at the retail base of the 745 Thurlow Street office building at the southwest corner of Thurlow and Alberni Streets. Cucinelli has a municipal address of 765 Thurlow Street, and it will soon be joined by Versace and Swiss menswear brand Strellson in the same complex.
Brunello Cucinelli was represented by Stan Vyriotes and David Wedemire of DWSV Remax Ultimate Realty Incorporated. Larissa Jacobson (604-661-5066) at Bentall Kennedy (Canada) LP handled the retail leasing for the landlord for all three retail tenants at 745 Thurlow.
Founded in 1978, Brunello Cucinelli sells womenswear, menswear and accessories. Although known for its luxurious cashmere apparel, the brand has expanded to include non-cashmere fashions including leathergoods, bags, shoes, and sportswear. The company is headquartered in a 14th century castle on the top of a hill in the middle of Italy's Umbria region, and it donates 20% of profits to its charitable foundation, and pays workers wages that are 20% higher than the industry average. According to its website, the brand is "firmly rooted in quality excellence, Italian craftsmanship and creativity".
The company currently operates 16 U.S. locations in Aspen CO, Atlanta, Bal Harbour FL, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Costa Mesa CA, Dallas, East Hampton NY, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Manhasset NY, New York City, and San Francisco. All cities have one free-standing Brunello Cucinelli location except for New York City, which has three.
In Vancouver, Brunello Cucinelli joins other luxury retailers in Vancouver's Luxury Zone such as Dior, De Beers, Burberry, Escada, Hermes, Tiffany & Co., Jaeger-LeCoultre, Louis Vuitton and others. Canada's second Moncler location will open in December across from Cucinelli on Thurlow Street, and a massive three-level flagship Prada is under construction at the southeast corner of Thurlow and Alberni Streets. Sources say that a number of premium international brands continue to negotiate for retail space in the immediate area.
Sources also say that Brunello Cucinelli is seeking retail space in Toronto and that last year, it passed up the opportunity to lease Benetton's former space at 102 Bloor Street West. Vancouver-based fashion brand Kit and Ace has since secured that space.
Top photo by Helen Siwak, other photos provided by Brunello Cucinelli.