(NEW YORK) Luxury Italian brand Loro Piana has purchased a 60 percent stake in Sanin, an Argentinian alapaca firm that owns the right to shear 210,000 vicuñas in the province of Catamarca. The company is known for its fine wools and cashmeres, and even hosts and annual bale competition for New Zealand and Australian sheep breeders for the finest bale of wool, which is then used to make a select 40 suits that cost roughly $35,000 a piece. The purchase of Sanin is upping the brand’s luxury fabrics even further, as vicuña is the finest and rarest wool in the world with each vicuna shedding only about a pound of wool a year through a special shearing process.
The knit kingpin’s CEO, Pier Luigi Loro Piana, said the company has invested $1.6 million in the firm, while at a press conference at the Villa Medici in Rome. However, he said the focus was to be the ability to produce the finest wool fabrics rather than as an investment opportunity. While the company already has 99 product categories with vicuña, the purchase of the stake in Sanin will allow Loro Piana to create a honey, almost-white fabric as the Argentonian vicuña is much lighter in color than the Peruvian. The wool cannot be dyed as the hair is sensitive to chemicals, thus making the fabric even more precious at a price that can be up to six times that of fine cashmere. Those with deep pockets can get their hands on Loro Piana’s special vicuña pieces when they hit stores in 2014.