Starting from f/w 2022, Piacenza 1733, the Made in Italy cashmere menswear brand, has started a new restructuring phase that began with its product. The collection was entirely redesigned by the knitwear expert and creative duo Jan and Carlos and reinterpreted according to the lens of its founder’s family inspiration travels since its early days, while the company continues to pursue and strengthen some sustainable goals.
Piacenza 1733 participated in Pitti presenting a new collection entirely redesigned by Jan and Carlos. Who are they, and what is their background?
Jan and Carlos are both from Chicago. They lived in Paris, but have been living in Milan for a while. For many years they worked at their collection Jan&Carlos, though, more recently, they have been consulting for various brands.
Why did you choose them?
I’ve known them for quite some time. By speaking with them in 2021 we understood that our menswear collection should have taken a different direction under the guidance of a new vision that could better meet the needs of the time we are living in now. We wanted to offer more contemporary items characterized by modern fits, though, at the same time, chic and colorful, without forgetting the high quality that has always distinguished us.
What does the brand and the designers see in the future of menswear fashion?
Our common vision is to start our project from a solid basis that is the company’s heritage. For this reason, we wanted to create an idea of luxury that can better attract a generation that is connected with the modern and contemporary world. Colors and 3D effects of yarns have to stir strong emotions, have to be versatile and should make whoever wears them express their own personality.
How important is sustainability in fashion?
Sustainability for all of us–the company and Jan and Carlos–is at the basis of everything. We are a sustainable company that is strictly tied to nature. We are noticing that today we all have to be more conscious about the fact that everything has a price and all the companies that want to continue being part of the fashion business will have to be aware that clothes have to be beautiful from the outside, but also in their inner intrinsic aspect.
Could you please specify how exactly your company is actively involved in protecting the environment?
For our Piacenza 1733 and Piacenza Cashmere brands, in 2019, we presented our first Sustainability Report and launched our second one in May 2021, according to the Reporting 4Sustainability protocol by Process Factory. Our report, referred to inspiration and objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and aligned with global standards of GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), is a key tool in order to compare our performance interns of sustainability.
As part of our commitment, there are some clear goals. We want to innovate our products while aiming to respect the environment; we want to reduce the emission of pollutants in the environment; we want to ensure the sustainability of our fabrics by controlling our supply chain in a structured way and proactively support it. Along with all this, we also want to promote environmental and social responsibility issues to the final consumer as we want to ensure the sustainability of the finished product.
In addition to that, nature has always been and continues to be a fundamental element for the Piacenza family, a source of inspiration, a place from where we drew raw material but also to be preserved.
Has the family been also involved in caring for the surroundings with some specific project meant to protect the environment?
The social responsibility of today, yesterday was the feeling of belonging to nature. In 1840, my ancestor Giovanni Piacenza created the original nucleus of the Burcina Park Felice Piacenza, a 57-hectare-area around a hill of natural beauty with paths, small lakes and farmhouses.
His son Felice chose to enlarge it and between 1890 and 1920 and was the promoter of important works including the creation of the Valley of the Rhododendrons, a cascade of shrubs that in spring blooms forming a multicolored amphitheater.
Guido Piacenza, now the twelfth generation of the family, remembers his grandfather Felice's strong short-sightedness and considers it "complicit" in the origin of the spots of color that dominate the park, to be its distinctive feature. In the park, sold to the Municipality of Biella in 1935, live sequoias, magnolias, pinus strobus, but also the "handkerchief trees,” trees of Chinese origin, spread through all over the park.