This sophisticated overcoat has a 100% cashmere shell, cotton and cashmere blend lining, and suede details. There is a single rear vent, and generously proportioned pockets. An internal drawstring (with solid metal hardware, engraved with the Loro Piana logo) draws in the back of the coat. All manufacturing takes place in specialist workshops in Italy.
The underside of the collar, pocket flaps and cuff fasteners are lined in chocolate brown goatskin suede, while the engraved buttons are real horn. A special phone pocket is crossed with metallic thread to provide a "shield" against electromagnetic radiation, while the sturdy, double zip is from the leading Swiss manufacturer, Riri.
Loro Piana cashmere comes from China and Mongolia where breeders herd Hircus goats. Once a year, during spring, the goats are hand-combed to gather fibre from their downy undercoats. Only 250g of fibre can be gathered from each goat, which is reduced to 100g once the coarser fibres have been removed. Fibre from about 20 goats is needed to make enough yarn for a single coat.
The trademarked Storm System ensures that the coat is wind resistent and waterproof, despite being made of a soft natural fibre. The surface of the cashmere is treated so water droplets roll off, while the breathable membrane applied to the underside of the fabric is impermeable to water. Loro Piana understands that high performance need not come at the expense of aesthetics.
Since 1924 the Loro Piana family has owned and operated their world-renowned textile business, and prior to launching the present firm, the family had been wool merchants since the early 1800s. To say that the Loro Pianas are experts in luxurious fabrics would be an understatement: as the world's largest producer of both baby cashmere yarns and fabrics, Loro Piana has come to set the benchmark for the finest cloths, thanks to its tireless investment in raw materials and production, and continued technical innovation. Headquartered in Quarona, in the Valsesia district of north Italy, the firm has been producing its own collections of clothes and accessories since the 1980s, in addition to selling its cloths to leading couturiers and tailors, as well as to architects and interior designers.
While Mr Sergio Loro Piana oversees the luxury goods division of the firm, his brother, Mr Pier Luigi Loro Piana, travels the world in search of the finest and rarest raw materials. From Mongolia, where cashmere fibre is sourced from traditionally herded Hircus goats, to the mountainous regions of Peru where the company's famed vicuña wool originates, Loro Piana controls every stage of production for the utmost quality, from the collection of the natural fibres, right down to the delivery of the finished products to retailers (Loro Piana prefers not to entrust third party couriers, because of the rigorous standards the firm maintains, which dictate the exact conditions in which the clothes must travel).
The laboratory which Loro Piana maintains in Outer Mongolia is just one example of the company's astounding attention to detail. Here, the gathered cashmere fibre is carefully checked by workers with tweezers who pick out impurities, before each approved batch is sent to one of the label's six factories in Italy. "The fibres are magnified up to 34,000 times in order to ensure purity and proper standards of thickness, fineness and length; some 450 readings are taken for every batch and only if a batch passes inspection will it go on for further checks," Mr Pier Luigi Loro Piana explains, before adding, "luxury is quality with no compromise. It's not the price, but the innate value of something."
LORO PIANA IN PICTURES
Loro Piana works with suppliers in China, Mongolia, Peru, New Zealand and Australia. "These partnerships mean we can create the best possible fabrics," Mr Pier Luigi Loro Piana explains
THE BABY CASHMERE
Loro Piana's trademark baby cashmere, used here for a sweater stocked on MR PORTER, is incredibly soft, being spun exclusively from fleece collected from goats which are under one year old
THE MERINO WOOL
Loro Piana works with the best farms in New Zealand and Australia to get the finest merino wool, with optimum fibre length, softness and durability. In 2000, the firm established the Wool World Cup
THE SUPER YACHT REGATTA
Held every June in Sardinia, the Loro Piana Super Yacht Regatta underlines the brand's alignment with sophisticated sports. Loro Piana is also involved in polo and vintage car rallies