The moment you lay a finger on one of Loro Piana’s Baby Cashmere Jubilee garments, there is no doubt that the capsule collection was created with only the finest fibers and craftsmanship. Composed of three pieces (two variations of the Jubilee Turtleneck and the Jubilee Bomber, which is fitted with a mink lining, mother of pearl buttons, and detachable chinchilla collar), the all-white womenswear line features the sublime Baby Cashmere, which is now celebrating its 10th anniversary.
While the material has been sold by the house for a decade, it was 20 years ago on the Alashan mountains of Inner Mongolia that Pier Luigi Loro Piana began the house’s adventure with Baby Cashmere, taking the harsh, rigid conditions of the climate and turning them into something rare and delicate. It is due to these conditions that the Capra Hircus goat develops a double-layered fleece—the under layer of which is a soft, insulating fiber that can only be harvested once in the animal’s life.
The conditions under which it can be collected are very specific—in the goat’s first year of life, and only during the month of June, when the outer protective layer of fleece is naturally shed. Adding to the scarcity of the fiber, each young goat only produces about 30 grams of 13.5-micron fleece (which is 15% finer than the 15 microns of an adult’s fleece), calling for the fibers of 19 baby goat to make just one sweater.
Working closely with the region’s goatherds, Loro Piana convinced them to allow him to purchase the young goats’ under fleece, which is traditionally mixed with the fiber from the adult goats and used to raise the quality of the rest of the wool. It was after 10 years of research and development that he arrived at the brand’s current standard of cashmere excellence—a material that is precious for its softness, but also for its unique texture, durability over time, and resilience.
Today, in addition to the anniversary capsule collection, Baby Cashmere is featured in a number of the house’s Fall/Winter 2018 designs. For men, the material can be found in more classic pieces like a traditional English-inspired scarf with a check pattern and a geometric diamond motif turtleneck. In the women’s collection, Baby Cashmere is seen in both classic and contemporary styles like a cape and coat with contrasting graphic motifs or the draped Reswick sweater.