With its fresh perspective on smart casual menswear, commendable family-first values, Made in Italy ethos and innovative practices, the tailoring behemoth Lardini has played a key role in shaping our identity as a retail destination since its introduction in 2014 and its future is most certainly bright.
“We ‘Lardini brothers’ have been inseparable since childhood,” says Luigi Lardini, the patriarch of the family who founded the business in 1978 as an 18-year-old. “We are very close, and despite being different from each other, the strength of our union has given us the opportunity to build something great,” he adds. Now into its fifth decade, greatness has been achieved, as the company now employs well over 1,000 people and has become a synonym for understated luxury.
Luigi’s spirit for entrepreneurship was supported right from the start, and it didn’t take long for his siblings – brother Andrea and sister Lorena – to become involved. Now, there are members of the Lardini family presiding over all areas of the business, all of whom dutifully continue to build on their legacy.
It’s always been the case at Trunk that having a good-natured relationship is paramount in being able to work together, and there isn’t a brand that underlines this more than Lardini. For our founder Mats, he says that working with them “feels a bit like being a close relative. They really care about you and your business and in their showroom in Milan, you always get the best home-cooked meal.” With solid foundations for business coupled with the exceptional quality of their product, a collaboration was a no-brainer. As such, Lardini is the sole manufacturer of our own line of tailoring, including our popular Wigmore jacket in cotton needlecord.
While it’s no longer the main part of the business, manufacturing tailoring for world-renowned luxury houses is how Lardini made its name. It wasn’t until 1993 that it started to offer garments with its name proudly sewn into the inside, and to help distinguish his own creations from the rest, Luigi had the ingenious vision of adding an elegant, decorative touch of a woollen flower to the lapel of each jacket. “The lapel flower, which takes its cues from the pins of the Seventies’ nouvelle vague, has now become the emblem of Lardini’s classic contemporary style,” he explains.
While Lardini’s signature is a graceful and profound move that ensures recognition all over the world, the company has always been a trailblazer in using innovation to improve all aspects of the business – from the quality of the product to the environment in which they are made in. “The Lardini company strongly believes in sustainability, which is a current issue to be taken into consideration and studied without respite,” states Luigi firmly.
One such example is the photovoltaic system, which is the technical term for solar panels, that are installed all over the roof of Lardini’s state-of-the-art, 20,000 square foot factory in Filottrano, Ancona. “We were among the first companies in the area to use them,” Luigi says proudly. Elsewhere, given the size of Lardini’s workforce and the importance of health and wellbeing, there are countless anti-pollution filters to improve the quality of the environment. “Environmental protection, sustainability and ecology are values to be constantly supported for the protection of our space in which we live and interact strongly,” he adds.
Even though innovation and sustainability are driving forces of the company, they’re carefully balanced with artisanal crafts and the desire to create something truly unique for the customer. “What has not changed is the attention to detail that has always been the same. Our 42 years in the business has been a great achievement. In these years we have always tried to combine heritage and innovation,” Luigi says.
For example, more than 80% of Lardini’s jackets use exclusive fabrics woven by the most prestigious mills in Europe. From beginning to end, hands belonging to craftspeople with generations worth of know-how grace each jacket. From being cut, tailored and pressed, each step is executed with family-like love and devotion as if by osmosis. Overall, it’s not an automated production line, and given the scale of the business that finishes over 2,000 jackets a day, it’s nothing short of remarkable.
Lardini’s popularity is only going to appreciate as we advance through this decade thanks to a renewed interest in tailoring due to the pandemic. Now that men want to dress up again, it’s the relaxed and comfortable variety that will prevail which is exactly what Lardini’s signature Easy jackets provide. “While men will perhaps no longer wear jackets in the traditional way with a shirt and tie, they [Lardini’s jackets and suits] are designed to be worn with a polo shirt or a crew neck to make them classic in a new way,” says Luigi of his brand’s modern approach to tailoring. This, of course, resonates with us loud and clear. Out of all the tailoring brands in the world, it’s Lardini who’ve registered this shift in balance and are making clothes in responsible and familial ways.