André, the quintessential Loro Piana shirt and one of the pieces which represents with exquisite simplicity the house DNA, returns to dress summer in informal elegance. Linen, denim and cotton have been selected from the finest yarns to create this exceptional garment with a timeless charm, whose popularity continues to flourish over the years. The story behind it takes us on a journey right to the heart of a company which never falters in its pursuit of excellence, its insistence on the application of the best know-how, and its unceasing research and dedication to creating clothes which illustrate a belief of functional elegance and elegant functionality.
Back in 1998, Loro Piana decided to give life to its own particular interpretation of a shirt. The result was one of the first finished pieces conceived in Borgosesia, a gamble which continues to prove its success today. The inspiration came from the ancient origins of the shirt, camisia in Latin, considered little more than an undergarment. Worn under a jacket or doublet, only the collar and cuffs were visible, and the quality of the whole garment could be gaged from looking at these details. So by first concentrating on the meticulous construction of the collar and cuffs, which it wanted to be at once impeccable, natural and versatile, Loro Piana laid the foundations for the architecture of its masterwork.
The next chapter, the inspiration, came from the Neapolitan tailoring tradition of the 1950s, calling to mind the Italian gentlemen of that time: masters of an elegant, apparently nonchalant style of dressing, exuding refinement and informality like nobody else. Loro Piana decided that the André shirt should be based on these qualities, but equally determined to add something extra. It wanted its shirt to stand out as the protagonist; not merely an accessory, but the blank canvas on which to draw the very idea of elegance.
Loro Piana wanted the André shirt to be a versatile shirt: informal yet impeccable at the same time. One which could be worn comfortably from dawn to dusk, and to even greater advantage with the collar open, thus flaunting its casual refinement.
It was therefore essential to construct the collar without a band – the strip of fabric to which the collar is stitched. This was achieved using wide facings, folding over the fabric of the front sections. Without stiffeners or visible finishes, the collar sits open softly and elegantly, whilst retaining its structure. Its superb craftsmanship means it looks equally splendid with a tie. The cuffs are rounded and feature an Australian mother of pearl double button closure to ensure the sleeve sits flawlessly in the correct position, giving one the option of wearing important timepieces over the cuff. Lastly, two small side pleats on the back ensure comfort and ease of movement, making the André shirt the natural choice for informal occasions and outdoor activities, like a leisurely sail or a fierce regatta with friends in the Mediterranean.
It was thus amongst friends, men of considerable charm, and patrons of Loro Piana, that the impeccably informal André shirt gained immediate popularity at the end of the 1990s. Considered the ideal shirt for free time – perfect on its own, under sweaters or casual jackets – the André shirt soon proved popular with women too, who liked its casual minimalist style. From strength to strength, fabric to fabric, year after year, the André shirt has evolved with natural grace, right up to summer 2020. It is now an icon, a symbol, representing the understated secret of timeless elegance.