Amongst every luxury commodity, certain brands grow into veritable behemoths following years of growth and consistently exceptional product. When looking at the massive numbers these companies churn out year after year, its easy to forget their humble origins. In the lucrative world of cashmere and fine fabrics, Loro Piana stands above the pack. Originally a family-run company, the cashmere connoisseur was bought by the Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy group (LVMH) in 2013 for an eye-popping 2 billion euros, and after decades of quitely producing some of the finest fabrics in the world—with prices that often sit in the tens of thousands of dollars—the company was suddenly pushed into the fashion limelight. To understand the purported reasoning why Loro Piana fetches such a princely sum, you need to understand a family that has traded textiles since the 1800s, then simple wool merchants in Northern Italy. Throughout the nineteenth century, the Loro Piana family developed a network of textile suppliers, before ultimately founding a wool mill themselves in the Italian village of Quarona. Nestled between the Quaronian foothills still sits the company headquarters, its exterior walls covered in decades-old ivy.

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