I received a call from Maria, one of the PR ladies back at the publishing office asking me to pay a visit to the Piacenza store on Via Manzoni. I had about fifteen minutes to walk from the Etro store down the bustling Via Montenapoleone to the double-story shop where Heba, a lovely Egyption lady was expecting me.
I felt comfortable around Heba as she explained the history of the Piacenza brand, possibly because she reminded me so much of myself with her locks of dark hair and petite frame. She explained that everything in the store is made using natural materials from the wooden floors to the paint on the walls, but of course, what really matters to all who enter the shop seeking luxury winter wear, is knowing that the cashmere, silk and vicuna used to produce these made-in-italy garments is of the highest quality.
The Piacenza family established their business in 1733. They started out producing such superior fabrics that the company eventually began supplying fabric to top brands such as Gucci and Gianfranco Ferre. Following a most natural course of growth and development, Piacenza opened this retail store, a first in a string of boutiques which will undoubtedly follow next year and beyond. Using their own fabrics, the company manufactures clothing and accessories for men and women and also offers a made-to-measure service where clients can choose their fabric, colour and style.
Heba led me upstairs and unveiled an exquisite ‘cashmere duble’ coat – a style for which the brand is well-known. I slipped it on and marvelled at how unbelievably lightweight it was. She explained that the coat can be compared to a near weightless 2-ply tissue because the luxurious, thin and ultra-warm coat is made by sewing together two layers of pure cashmere.