Three fashion luminaries discuss how they translate the idea of luxury to their brands—and to life.
It's not often that three titans of fashion manage to clear their schedules at the same time. But the stars aligned just briefly enough to allow for a meeting of the minds of Brunello Cucinelli, CEO of his namesake company; Filippo Ricci, Creative Director of Stefano Ricci; and Nicolas Bijan, Executive Vice President of House of Bijan. While all oversee top-tier luxury clothing brands, each man’s definition of true luxury is by no means the same. We caught up with them to discuss the finer points of the concept and how it translates to their boutiques at Wynn.
What does luxury mean to you?
Filippo Ricci: Luxury is a very big word. And it’s a word that’s been overused in the past. For us, luxury is tied to family values and the really important things in life. [It’s also about] delivering an emotion.
Nicolas Bijan: Filippo is so beautiful with his words. For me, luxury is synonymous with what my late father founded our company on. Some of the things that I attribute to it are quality, exclusivity, and incredible attention to detail. At Bijan, we want to make sure that the customer has a memorable experience and that it’s unlike anywhere else in the world.
FR: Because we sell to people that have everything, they want to be impressed. The challenge is to deliver ultimate quality with impeccable service, but also to make them have fun when they’re shopping.
Brunello Cucinelli: Yes, luxury is a very precious word that illustrates a sense of exclusivity and privacy. This could refer to the intimacy of family, the opportunities to [have] special experiences, or accessibility of fashion. Luxury means to be able to experience a high quality of life inclusive of deep values, family, life experiences, and happiness.
NB: In the last several years, we’ve seen more brands around the world manufacturing, producing, and selling goods in less luxurious ways, for lack of a better word: [using] cheaper and different countries, and mass-producing things. How luxury has evolved for us is we’ve done the exact opposite. As more people shift to things like online retail, we focus on how can we make our experience inside our boutique even more unique.
BC: I’ve always thought that luxury could be associated [with] a state of mind rather than something to own. Luxury is exclusivity; luxury is human privacy.
FR: For us, we have 47 years of history of the brand. We started in 1972 with just a simple collection of ties. So, from a single accessory, the attention we put into that, we put that same attention into the whole line, [now] creating a global lifestyle brand. It’s always been a family philosophy to never compromise quality in favor of quantity.
How is your Wynn store different from your other locations?
BC: Wynn captures a very interesting market and exposure different than any other place. Visitors from all over the world come to visit Wynn, and we are excited to tell our story to such an international audience.
NB: Our store is more of a contemporary version of our iconic store on Rodeo Drive. It has a lot of similarities, like the tall mahogany door, which is an iconic detail. It also has a chandelier of 1,100 perfume bottles, just like the original.
FR: This is one of the first [of our stores] to have black walnut, and it also has the gray stone of Florence, called the Pietra Serena. It’s the material we’re using for new stores around the world, especially in the more contemporary ones.
NB: For us, you have all the colors that we are famous for on display. People walking into the resort can see these beautiful displays of color. It’s a great fit because Wynn is synonymous with color and luxury [as well].
Do you have a uniform?
FR: It depends. I’m a big fan of blue. I love to wear different things, but a lot of blue. I love knit jackets; I’m always traveling and they’re very comfortable to travel with.
BC: I almost always wear a blazer, white shirt, gray tie, and light bottoms.
NB: I mix it up. Well, I wear a suit or a sports jacket every day; I don’t like to dress casually. You never know when someone is going to walk in, and you always want to make as good a first impression as possible. That was something I learned when I was much younger. I was interning for my dad, and President Bush Sr. walked in and I was wearing a leather jacket or something like that, and I never forgave myself!
Nicolas Bijan in the House of Bijan store in Beverly Hills