Loro Piana is renowned for offering the most refined clothing and accessories made in Italy from the finest raw materials sourced from around the world. In dedication to “the world’s most beautiful wool,” the house has commissioned a site-specific work by internationally renowned artist eL Seed, set within the spectacular sky garden of the Dubai Opera House, and organised under the patronage of H. H. Sheikha Lateefa bint Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The focus of the installation is The Gift of Kings wool, measuring only around 12 microns in diameter, it is only available in tiny quantities as it is a very rare and extremely refined selection of the wool produced each year. It is the result of a long-term relationship which sees Loro Piana working directly with leading breeders in Australia and New Zealand in their efforts to produce ever finer fibre.
The sculptural installation pays tribute to the wonders of the natural world by evoking dreamy, ethereal clouds, cascading waterfalls and soft rain showers as a tribute to the feather-light purity of the world’s finest Merino, Loro Piana’s pride and joy. It conceals secret chambers that offer visitors a glimpse into the journey of this exceptional wool from raw fibre to woven fabric.
The initiative is rooted in Loro Piana’s high-end tradition of excellence, as Fabio d’Angelantonio, the company’s CEO says: “The Gift of Kings is an ongoing journey for excellence for Loro Piana, and we are honoured to embark on its next expression, under the patronage of H. H. Sheikha Lateefa bint Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Above all, The Gift of Kings is a declaration of our deep respect for the natural world and the beauty that comes from it – a value that has led us to this collaboration with the celebrated artist eL Seed.”
The artist eL Seed is known for creating captivating and intricate compositions of traditional Arabic calligraphy fused with contemporary street art which has been shown on the walls of many cities around the world including Paris, New York, Jeddah and Melbourne and Dubai. In 2013, Condé Nast Traveler recognised him as one of the year’s ‘visionaries’ for advocating peaceful expression and social progress through his work.
Between the 8th and 10th of November, members of the public were treated to an exclusive, additional installation at the adjacent Dubai Opera Garden where they could admire the current record holder for finest wool produced in its raw wool state.
“This wool was produced in 2014 by Robert and Pamela Sandlant in Australia and measures only 10.3 microns in diameter – finer than most cashmere. An incredible achievement in a journey of excellence that with the support of Loro Piana has seen the world record for wool fineness honed by an astounding three microns in just 20 years,” according to a statement by the brand.
To reward and incentivise the leading woolgrowers in Australia and New Zealand, Loro Piana has created a special award for the finest wool produced each year: The Record Bale award. And once every so often, the winning wool breaks all previous records for fineness, earning it the coveted title of World Record Bale, the very pinnacle of excellence in the world of wool.
Loro Piana celebrates each World Record Bale with unique traditions. Each record holder, “the very finest wool the world has ever known,” is carefully preserved in its raw wool form until the time a new world record is made. When that happens, it is ready to be spun and woven into fabric: a single 150 metre bolt.