“I didn’t really know Loro Piana even did womenswear,” Karolina Kurkova said over of a lunch of grilled lobsters plucked from the Caribbean sea mere hours before. The Czech model was one of a carefully curated mix of actors, influencers, entrepreneurs and musicians—including actors (and couple) Annabelle Wallis and Chris Pine, social entrepreneur Leila Janah, and violinist Charlie Siem—assembled by the Italian luxury brand Loro Piana for a lavish weekend of sun, dining, music and more on the French Caribbean island of St. Barts to mark the occasion of the Bucket regatta. (The brand’s deputy chairman, Pier Luigi Loro Piana, competed in the regatta with his boat, My Song.) Sitting next to Kurkova in a linen cream-colored robe and wide-leg pants by Loro Piana, Raffaella Redaelli de Zinis, the brand’s chief product officer, was exquisitely chic proof that the brand does indeed do womenswear.
But Kurkova is not alone in assuming that Loro Piana was a brand mostly for men. Redaelli herself, who had previously designed womenswear at Louis Vuitton, was surprised to find that the Loro Piana customer is evenly split between men and women.
The other commonly held assumption about the Italian luxury brand is that it’s primarily for cold weather. If you know anything about the brand, it probably has to do with cashmere. Loro Piana is best known for keeping international business tycoon and jet set types cocooned in its ultra-soft, ultra-expensive, Mongolian cashmere. And cashmere in the Caribbean would seem, on its face, to be a head-scratching proposition.
And this is of course, where Sail Into Summer, comes in. The trip, which marks the first time the brand has dipped its toe into something resembling the “influencer” or “experience” space at such a scale, was designed to smash those assumptions. All the beautiful people gathered for the trip were dressed in or accessorized with Loro Piana for every event: breezy, silk, nautical-inspired cocktail attire from the Spring/Summer collection for a welcome dinner at the posh Le Toiny restaurant; striped linen pareo sarongs and roomy sand-colored beach totes with an elegant stripe down the middle for a beach day followed by a day aboard a yacht to take in the Bucket Regatta. (The “suitcase stripe”, as it’s called, references the striped panel on the canvas suitcases employees used to showcase the brand’s fabrics in its early years. Today it appears on totes, canvas wallets, silk and cashmere scarves, tunics, and more.)
The navy silk jumpsuit with white piping worn by Karolina Kurkova was a standout, as was a pinstriped linen wrap blazer over wide leg pants, worn by socialite and Paravel founder Indre Rockefeller.
One event seamlessly transitioned to the next. Nothing felt forced or contrived. After lunch at the beach (the one with those freshly grilled lobsters), a six person band magically appeared to serenade the tables, playing beach-y versions of ‘80s classics and soon enough the entire room was singing along and dancing. The Deuce actress Margarita Levieva twirled in the center.
Throughout the weekend, overheard snippets of conversation ranged from book recommendations, startup stories (many attendees were founders of or working for startups), or parenting travails (several attendees were moms and bought their partners and kids as the trip overlapped with schools’ spring break). Looking at the event hashtag #sailintosummer, a friend DMed to ask whose wedding we were all at. In other words, Loro Piana successfully piqued the unforced millennial FOMO all brands are currently chasing.
And that was all by careful design of course. “Loro Piana Summer is an appeal to emotions, combining an Italian notion of effortless elegance with an active move towards light and lightness,” CEO Fabio d’Angelantonio said, “from protecting oneself from the elements to welcoming them. St. Barths and the Bucket Regatta seemed like the perfect setting to convey this abstract idea to our guests.”