One of the greatest privileges of money and power is the ability to influence how you are and will be perceived; another is to impact the lives of people beyond your family, yourself and your lifetime. For Italian fashion mogul Brunello Cucinelli (aka “the king of cashmere”), this has meant casting himself in the role of “Humanistic Capitalist” in countless interviews, and even through a 1999 autobiography, Solomeo: Brunello Cucinelli—A Humanistic Enterprise in the World of Industry, while taking an ancient philosophical approach to overseeing a fashion empire in the modern world. Inspired by twentieth-century American economist and professor Theodore Levitt (who believed in consumer-oriented businesses and visionary entrepreneurs), Greek and Roman philosophers and emperors and Catholic saints, Cucinelli has constructed a wildly successful fashion house over the past four decades known for its luxury prices, lavish cashmere knitwear and effortless sprezzatura (“studied carelessness”) style, while positioning himself as a Benedictine steward for his thousands of employees, who he calls “thinking souls.”

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