With most of the world confined to their homes, a comfortable yet versatile wardrobe has become more crucial than ever. Already on an upward trajectory before Covid-19, athleisure – which refers to comfortable clothing designed for both exercise and lounging – has unsurprisingly become even more popular. The market was valued at US$155.2 billion (S$215.81 billion) in 2018 and is projected to hit US$257.1 billion by 2026.
Italian fashion brand Loro Piana produces some of the world’s finest cashmere, but the heritage textile company’s expertise extends much further to also encompass premium wool, linen and technical fabric. Its products might seem too delicate for exercise, but the 96-year-old company’s lightweight wool offerings are actually ideal for an active lifestyle, thanks to the fibre’s naturally breathable quality. Some of its clients wear their garments for sports such as golfing or even sailing, including the LVMH-owned brand’s Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta in the summer.
Even Russian president Putin has been known to hit the gym in his Loro Piana silk-cashmere blend tracksuit, according to Vanity Fair magazine. Designed for moving around with ease, a crewneck sweater made from the label’s signature Wish wool is naturally breathable and featherlight. It comes from fine fibre from selected merino sheep bred in Australia and New Zealand exclusively for Loro Piana. Layer that with a “Salt Lake” reversible hooded bomber jacket for cool evening walks in the park. Made with a silk-cotton blend, it offers lightweight protection without being stuffy.
For even more luxe options, look to the brand’s range of pieces that contain baby cashmere. An exceptionally fine and rare fibre, it comes from the white Capra hircus Mongolian goat kids, found only in the Alashan Plateau semi-desert ecoregion straddles the China-Mongolian border. Even more extraordinary, a mere 30g of fibre is collected from each kid, once in 12 months. After that, it starts producing adult cashmere, which does not have the same delicacy. Each baby cashmere fibre is about 13 microns in diameter and 15 per cent finer than the fibre of adult cashmere. The precious cashmere is woven into luxuriously soft Angel yarn, a summer version of baby cashmere used in the Girocollo Bryce crewneck sweater.