A New Philosophy of Clothes

Brunello Cucinelli

A new 38-minute documentary film that I photographed and directed addressing Brunello Cucinelli’s use of the humanistic tradition in Western philosophy as a guide for his eponymous international fashion business and the life of his company town in Umbria.

Funding for production of this documentary film was generously provided by a grant from

The Moving Picture Institute, New York                     


And was produced in association with

Joule Q                     


ColdWater Media


© 2011 Brunello Cucinelli

Click covers below for a link to Rebecca Mead’s New Yorker profile of Mr. Cucinelli, March 29, 2010

“The Prince of Solomeo”

© 2010 Marco Ventura

What can a contemporary, profit-driven, luxury, Italian fashion brand learn from the likes of Marcus Aurelius, St. Benedict, St. Francis, and Kant? Its founder, Brunello Cucinelli, thinks quite a lot, and has shaped his company with reference to the history of philosophy. Moreover, in his effort to “embellish the world” with enterprises that reflect his understanding of a New Humanism, he has built a library, a theater, a school, and restored a church and an Etruscan Arch—but perhaps most crucially to his core values, he has created a manufacturing and corporate environment that aims to support a robust and varied human life.

More than a publicity stunt or a gimmick to sell expensive clothes, Cucinelli appears to draw from philosophy as a means for underwriting and energizing his twin ambitions of making money (by offering inspiring, beautiful, genuinely high-quality products) and making a positive difference in the protection and development of human dignity. From director David LaRocca comes the unlikely story of a capitalist-philosopher in Brunello Cucinelli: A New Philosophy of Clothes.

Based on two articles I wrote, now published in

The Journal of Religion and Business Ethics