Vicuna cloth has been very popular recently, mostly for overcoats. There seems to be a desire to use the best cloth possible, and vicuna is certainly the most luxurious. It has a beautiful feel to it, something people immediately respond to when they touch it for themselves. It’s not cheap – the overcoat I’m working on at the moment will cost over £20,000. But men want the very best.
The most popular colour is tan, but customers also go for brown, black and navy. Some like the polo-coat style, with patch pockets and turn-back cuffs, but most want a simple double-breasted style. It feels very English and classic.
When I first worked with vicuna it was hard to get hold of; you needed to have a certificate to prove you had acquired it legally. But Loro Piana has increased the supply a lot in recent years, as it has worked with local farmers.
The same philosophy of seeking out the very best extends to jackets, as well. Where customers would previously have ordered a greater proportion of tweed, they now have cashmere versions in similar colours and patterns.