I cannot remember a time when I was not fascinated by babies’ clothes. As a child, I loved to collect dolls. There was one that was the size of a new born baby, and I spent hour after hour changing her into little clothes that my great-auntie’s friend had knitted. They were beautiful, intricately crafted, in soft pastel colours, and so small.
Like most girls, I stopped playing with dolls as I grew older. Yet I remained enchanted by children’s clothes, especially those for new-born babies. Even as a young adult, if I was passing by a children’s store, I would stop to look at the beautiful window displays. Although sometimes I had to be careful not to give the wrong message to a boyfriend…
I decided to study business at University, and completed a master’s degree in Finance and Marketing. Afterwards, I worked at Meryl Lynch for some years, but realised that banking was not my real passion. I decided to dip my toe into more creative waters and so I combined my passions for learning and creativity, and opened my own leisure school in Milan called “Il Rifuggio Dei Curiosi” (The Curious Refuge). It was a very cosy and warm place where you could learn a variety of things such as photography, interpreting children’s art, Ikebana, graphology, and cooking various cuisines such as sushi and Lebanese. Our cooking lessons always ending with a sit-down meal for staff and students; everyone enjoyed the food and the company. It was a lovely experience.
Then I got married and two years later, in 1999, I gave life to one of my three master pieces: my daughter, Sofia. I felt truly blessed for this most magical and unique experience; incomparable to anything else except the arrival of my other two children. Giving birth to my first child completely changed me. The strength of this new love somehow allowed my creative side to run free. From that moment onwards, I became really connected with this part of my personality. Passion, love, and creativity guided me through every step of my life after that experience.
Like all mothers, I want the best for my children, so I struggled with the fact that I was often wearing cashmere while my daughter—the one with the most delicate skin—mainly wore wool. Despite being excellent wool, it was still not cashmere. At that time, it was really difficult to find baby clothes in cashmere. The few items available were in a limited range of colours like white, or pale pinks and blues.
So, I dreamt up the idea of creating a line of cashmere for little ones. I wanted it to be different, fun, classy, chic, colourful, and to feature many different designs. In 2000, my second work of art was born: Monica. She came to life as my first cashmere collection did. In a way, Cashmirino became another child and, as with my own children, I went through different transformations and experiences with my young business.
In 2003, I gave birth to my third and final showpiece: my son, Nicola. Very quickly, he became a great teacher to me as I realised that I had no idea what to design for a big, masculine new-born. Having a boy is quite different than having two little girls. My previous new-born collections were designed for delicate figures like those of my daughters. My son did not arrive looking delicate. He was strong and round, not small and dainty. He looked better in stronger colours like blue and green; pale tones did not suit him as they made him look red, similar to Bordeaux! This inspired me to develop my range considerably.
I began to introduce other materials to the line, including cotton, as I wanted to make fifties’ style dresses for my daughters. They loved to wear them; to spin around and watch the skirts make soft waves in the air. I wanted my son to look different from other boys, and I loved him in shirts with Granddad collars. I started to create clothes in top quality, 100% natural, linen and silk. I am a strong believer in quality verses quantity. I also believe that children should wear natural fibres to allow their sensitive skin to breathe and stay cool, hence why I use cashmere and cotton.
And so, suddenly, my babies were growing up as Cashmirino evolved. In 2008, my youngest started to go to nursery. This was when I had the chance to open my first showroom and Cashmirino began to become a bigger family. We opened our first store in Milan in Via Solferino in the same year, and a second store in Via San Pietro al Orto in the centre of Milan in 2009. In 2012, we travelled overseas and opened our first international flagship store in London. The cosy and charming store is in the perfect location: Burlington Arcade in the heart of Mayfair.
We wanted to share the experience of shopping in our store with our online shoppers, so we decided to launch a brand-new website in 2017. We hope that our customers, the children, will find the site to be full of fun surprises and animations as our logo, the Cashmirino bear, comes to life. Each bear will share exciting stories so that our customers can travel along our journey with us. Most importantly, we aim to create a sense of community amongst our users so to enhance and extend their shopping experience. We sincerely hope that you enjoy reading the stories as much as we have enjoyed making them.
We continue to travel and meet new artisans and manufactures around the world, to add something new to our classic collections. We endeavour to bring you the best of ourselves, and to follow our philosophy of love, care, and quality in each thing we do. Our mission remains to dress children as children in the best of natural fabrics.
I hope you will be able to join us on our wonderful journey ahead.
With much love,