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Selling a cashmere jumper for 10,000 euros isn’t so easy. Nevertheless, Franco Fredducci, the owner of 'Il Borgo Cashmere', does it regularly. The latest one was sold to a size 62 lady, belonging to an Arab royal family. But these are not things that happen by chance.

'The company was opened in 1949 by a woman, my wife's mother, and today it employs over 50 people, 24 employees within the company and about 30 home workers, to whom we pay contributions,' Fredducci recounts.

Despite the title of “king of cashmere from Borgo San Lorenzo”, Franco is now trying to conquer Florence at the age of 53. In September, he will open his first shop in Via Tosinghi: 'It is our first point of sale. We certainly do not intend to launch a challenge to Gucci or Hermés, but it will be a living shop, a shop-laboratory where we do not only sell products but also produce. In fact, what makes a garment unique is the transformation", says Fredducci.

How do you get to the podium? “You get there with a lot of research and creativity, choosing the right materials and making a handmade and tailor-made artisan product, but also capable of seducing even a 20-year-old girl," claims the king of cashmere from Mugello. "You don't get there with advertising, ours was a door-to-door work, done by word of mouth. We also won Arab and American customers thanks to highly professionalized teamwork. 'That cashmere jumper had mink fur and handmade leather stitching. It was something like 30-40 hours of work: the result of 90 per cent group of women we assembled,' says the owner of Borgo Cashmere.

"The workers are our real wealth. After all, our choice not to leave Italy for Romania in the 1980s, as so many did, paid off. The first necessity of an artisan business is training,' says Fredducci again. In September, immediately after the summer break, he and his company will hold a 900-hour course recognised by the Region “Time is against us, we must train quickly. But if we do that, our future can only be rosy, because we can make unique products, which nobody else makes in the marketplace”.

“Il Borgo” is not just cashmere. We make clothing and many other things also for children, including doubled twin lightweight blanket for babies or socks for the business class of a major airline. We also make furniture and lamps for interiors, but obviously not for every budget. These are refined products of excellence that, no matter how unpleasant and un-politically correct they may appear, they have a good market.

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