Italian knitwear and cashmere specialist Fedeli excels in making knits crisp and light without sacrificing luxury and longevity. Their signature sweaters, elegant polos and refined shorts are perfect off-duty wear throughout spring and summer, but as their nautical inspiration suggests, they’re at their best anywhere there is sun and saltwater.
Fedeli’s garments are made in Monza, just north of Milan, in a sandy yellow building where light streams through high windows onto humming English knitting machines. This is the place that the eponymous Luigi Fedeli began manufacturing in 1934. It was fourteen years later, in the post-war years, that Fedeli acquired his first of the colossal English machines that still dominate the factory floor, and soon after that he bought the iconic retail space on Via Montenapoleone in Milan which now serves as the flagship showroom. Still a family company but now in its fourth generation, Fedeli continues to make luxury knits the traditional way, with everything from wool sorting and sampling to knitting, cutting and hand-finishing taking place under the same roof. Even the design department and family archive are located on site. Gigi Fedeli, the family’s head today, says it’s like a home.
The hallmark of Fedeli’s craft is the cashmere sweater. Made with scrupulously selected cashmere in a loose, open weave, it can be worn all year round but excels on summer evenings and cool mornings. While chunky sweaters can make up for their material shortcomings to some degree with sheer heft, in a piece this fine the yarn quality is everything. Grading and selecting the best long fibre cashmere is essential for strength and longevity, and as a bonus, the finished article is far slower to pill. Gigi likes to say that a quality sweater is like a watch: all the work is on the inside. A Trunk favourite this season is the blue model with a nautical stripe and contrasting, solid blue ribbed collar, cuffs and hem.
Another key item is the polo shirt. Fedeli produces a range of elegant models in various cottons and colours, hand-cut from Egyptian Giza and American Supima cottons. A great casual option is the garment-dyed range, offered in a range of muted tones and softened around the edges by garment dyeing, where garments are coloured and washed as finished pieces, giving a broken-in, relaxed look straight off the rack. For beachwear, look to their charismatic cousin - the terry cloth polo in hues of blue and beige. Both are finished with mother-of-pearl buttons.
For cooler days and smart casual occasions, the cotton knit ‘skipper’ shirt is a luxuriously soft long sleeve option with a broad collar and buttonless placket that is equally at home with a pair of linen trousers or poolside with shorts and a cocktail. Complementing these is the cotton boucle crewneck, a flattering and lightweight woven sweater that’s cut slim through the arms and waist.
Finally, don’t overlook the most vibrant summer piece of all: swim shorts. Fedeli’s models are offered in a flattering, classic cut, using gorgeously soft, quick-drying microfibre cloths in eye-catching colours and designs. They’re finished with an elastic waistband and drawstring waist for comfort.
Shop Fedeli here