Interview with Mr Pier Luigi Loro Piana

Face2Face
Mr Pier Luigi Loro Piana
Mr Pier Luigi Loro Piana
CEO & Deputy Chairman
Loro Piana Group
 Loro Piana Group

Around 1812, the Loro Piana family started working with textile fibers in the valleys of Biella. In Quarona, Pietro opened a wool mill in 1924, naming it after himself and profession: Ing. Loro Piana & C. ("Ing" signifies engineer). Pietro was succeeded by his son Franco and in the 1970s, by his grandchildren Sergio and Pier Luigi. All these generations have been united by a passion for textile quality and perfectionism. After integrating the activities Around 1812, the Loro Piana family started working with textile fibers in the valleys of Biella. In Quarona, Pietro opened a wool mill in 1924, naming it after himself and profession: Ing. Loro Piana & C. ("Ing" signifies engineer). Pietro was succeeded by his son Franco and in the 1970s, by his grandchildren Sergio and Pier Luigi. All these generations have been united by a passion for textile quality and perfectionism. After integrating the activities downstream of the supply chain down to the finished product, the conglomerate now operates through its two division viz Luxury goods division & Textiles Division. Textile division further has Fabrics Business Unit, Yarns Unit, and Interior Business Unit. Loro Piana Group is recognized as a leading international luxury fabrics manufacturer and most refined wools- the Tasmanian, cashmere, and vicuna are the Group’s most exclusive products. The distribution network is complemented by a selected number of high profile multibrand around 120 stores worldwide. The turnover is in constant growth and approximately 60% is produced beyond its national borders: in Europe, United States and the Far East. Mr Pier Luigi Loro Piana is the CEO and Deputy Chairman of Loro Piana Group. His role as Chairman is on a three year rotation with his brother Sergio. Born in Milan, Italy, on December 11th, 1951, Mr Loro Piana graduated in economics from the L Bocconi University of Milan in 1975. Same year he joined the Company with his brother, Sergio. Under their management, the company focused on top quality cashmere and fine worsted fabrics and yarns. Their strategic approach and the establishment of the Luxury Goods Division in the late ‘80s, enabled the Company to more than double its turnover. Mr Loro Piana is also President of “MILANO UNICA” (the most important international Textile Fair organized in Italy) and honorary Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. He

Loro Piana Group celebrated its 85th anniversary on 4th this April; best wishes from entire fibre2fashion team! How would you express your feelings on this occasion; which episodes do you count as most remarkable or encouraging moments of your corporate journey?

Our great uncle founded the current company, in 1924, that is correct, but our ancestors have been merchants of wool fabrics since the early 19th century. My brother Sergio and myself represent the 6th generation of this family company and we are very proud of our history. There have been many remarkable episodes that have contributed to make Loro Piana the largest cashmere manufacturer and the biggest single purchaser of the world’s finest wools. However the most significant change for our generation was certainly the development of the luxury goods division which today represents 60% of the total turnover. Produced in our own facilities in the Piedmont region (Italy), exclusive lines for men, women and children, along with home furnishing, accessories, and gifts are distributed in over 120* directly operated stores worldwide (*as of April 2009).

Having witnessed an epoch in the industry of fabrics and garments, what note would you like to make on the switch that industry has taken in this period?

On one hand textile producers have diminished, on the other they went global, reaching out across the world and exporting the know-how and craftsmanship.

We at Loro Piana specifically concentrated (and still do today) on the needs of our customers sticking to authentic quality and continued with a totally verticalised company which guarantees quality on all levels. With ever chancing climatic conditions the general request of our customers was focused on lightness. Our first breakthrough was certainly the Tasmanian®, created in the 1960s in response to the growing need for new and modern clothing that was light, versatile, crease-resistant and crease-proof, as well as particularly suited for air-conditioned environments. This lightweight fabric with unique and original features (from Merinos coming from the Tasmania island, Australia) was inspired by Priest Cloth®, that Loro Piana produced especially for ecclesiastic garments.

Published on: 04/05/2009

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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