A Supporter of Memory

Michael Metzger

Brunello Cucinelli makes sense of business by being “a great supporter of memory.” Scripture encourages us to be advocates for remembering the right things. Cucinelli seems to, which is why the “king of cashmere” sees how business ought to be.

Cucinelli is the founder of the eponymously named fashion house that is well known for making luxury cashmere sweaters. Dubbed the “king of cashmere” by the New Yorker, I wrote a column on Cucinelli in 2010. Launched in 1978, his worldwide company now has more than $450 million a year in revenues. Yet Cucinelli says he has no anxieties. In a recent interview he tells us why.

“I’m not at all worried,” claims Cucinelli. His calm lies in recollecting what Heraclitus believed: “While things rest, the world regenerates. Something is born, grows, dies, rests, regenerates and regenerates again.” That’s worth remembering, as Heraclitus resonates with scripture. In the Bible, we see the same rhythm, rest then regeneration.

Genesis defines a “day” as evening then morning, rest then work. The day begins as the sun goes down. While we rest, God regenerates, preparing good works for us to walk in (Eph.2:10). There are at least two outcomes from respecting this rhythm. We’re not consumed with work and we’re not riddled with anxiety.

This is difficult in a world where work has become 24/7. I have a friend who is required to check company emails before he goes to bed. By way of contrast, at Cucinelli’s company the workday starts at 8am and ends at 5:30pm. No emails after that, and none at all on Saturday and Sunday. “That’s why I’m not at all worried,” notes Cucinelli.

C. S. Lewis said you get splinters when you go against the grain of God’s great universe. There are rhythms, and they must be respected, or the results are non-stop work and unrelenting anxiety. But to be respected, the right rhythms must be remembered. Like Brunello Cucinelli, people of Christian faith ought to make sense of life by being great supporters of memory.

Cucinelli has additional thoughts on business plans (he has a three-centuries plan), why he’s no fan of the Enlightenment, and why he believes we need a “new form of capitalism, a contemporary form of capitalism,” one that is more human. I believe his ideas resonate with scripture. If you’d like to read the entire interview, go to: http://pi.co/brunello-cucinelli-2/

Follow me on Twitter: @Metzger_Mike


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One Comment

  1. I love this story – you could bring it up every three months and it would never get old. Solid principles here.

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