Brunello Cucinelli Spring 2017 Ready-To-WearRunwayRunway A conversation with Brunello Cucinelli usually involves him discussing the state the world is in. It sounds ponderous, but it’s actually quite refreshing to find a power player in the fashion establishment who doesn’t just blabber about his balance sheet (even if, in Cucinelli’s case, the numbers are pretty good, amounting this year to a healthy growth of around 10 percent). He seems genuinely concerned about a more humanistic, ethical approach: “We need to give a new meaning to the word ‘moderation’ in every aspect of our lifestyle,” he said at a preview of his Spring collection. “Every year, 80 billion garments are produced in the world—it’s insane!” How could one disagree? We’re actually surrounded, almost drowned, in “stuff,” so this is a serious concern—obviously not one that’s easy to address. “It almost feels as if we were living a sort of La Grande Bouffe,” said Cucinelli, referring to the French-Italian film in which a group of people decide to fine-dine themselves to death. “Where’s the human factor gone? It has to take center stage again.” He even stressed his point with Instagram’s Kevin Systrom, who invited him to San Francisco for a meeting. “I said to him: ‘You guys are the Leonardo da Vincis of the Web; you’re genius! But the informatic noise is too loud, it has made the soul suffer—you guys have to try to humanize the Web now.’ ” Apparently, Instagram dispatched a few Leonardos to see how Solomeo, the small village where Cucinelli’s headquarters are located, actually functions.