Passing away at the age of 61, Silvio Albini leaves behind him a void that only the memory of his incredible kindness can possibly fill. We would like to take this chance to remember him.

In a single story there is never a single point of view. This is the sentence with which we started to tell the story of Italian footwear a few years ago.

And it is with great respect that we continue to do so today: moving our focus from footwear itself to another aspect of Italy’s astonishing manufacturing history.

For the first time we are opening up our heritage section to a company, which does not make shoes, so as to remember Sir Silvio Albini, an entrepreneur who passed away just a few weeks ago. He headed – up until his death – the Cotonificio Albini (a cotton mill), whose story began in 1876 and covered five working generations, with the sixth perhaps just now ready to take its first steps through its looms, styling offices, fairs and fashion’s great names.

 

 

“He loved seeing how people dressed. To discover new corners of cities in the process of transforming themselves and breathing in their energy. Getting to know different cuisines and customs.”

[This quotation is from Maurizio Colnago, style and rights manager of the brand Thomas Mason, in a wonderful interview with the newspaper Eco di Bergamo.]

We remember Silvio Albini as an intellectually brilliant man who also had a deeply touching sense of human empathy, an ironic and acute entrepreneur who, alongside his brother and cousins, was able to masterfully steer their large business – with more than 1400 employees – from Italy through the process of exporting high quality cotton to the whole world.

A personal story that never sought out fame, but that – now suddenly broken – has influenced the entire world of fashion in Italy, from Sistema Moda Italia, Milano Unica and Confindustria di Bergamo to huge brands such as Loro Piana, Zegna, Kiton, Paul&Shark, Vitale Barberis Canonico, and in the broader international world of fashion, who are all now flooding the company and the family with their condolences.

And if it is an Italian blessing that the Albini, Albiate and Thomas Mason cottons (that many brands have also used to make footwear) will live on carrying the surname of his family, we are sure that his memory will forever remain woven into the personal and professional lives of those who had the good fortune of meeting him.

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