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Brunello Cucinelli
Looks from the fall/winter 2012 collection. Image courtesy Brunello Cucinelli.

Sure, it’s sweltering now, but the opening of the Brunello Cucinelli boutique in the Gold Coast (the first in the Midwest) signals that crisp temps will be here sooner than we think.

The Italian brand is legendary for its luxe leathers and cashmere, but the Rush Street shop is a welcoming spot manned by friendly staff and filled with soft leather chairs and casually staged displays. Looks for vintage props, antiques and historic photographs--including one of the village of Solomeo, where “cashmere king” Cucinelli founded his company.

If you’re already a fan of Brunello Cucinelli, you’ll notice more versatility in its dress-up-or-down pieces this season. Outerwear is made of leather and reversed shearling, and down jackets are made without quills for enhanced comfort. The real scene-stealers, however, are the cashmere fur pieces, the latest material in the brand’s library. We love Cucinelli’s monochromatic earth tones but were happy to catch a pop of color here and there--especially among the beautiful hand-dyed silk scarves bound to banish any cold-weather blues.

We couldn’t help but get a little excited about the change of seasons as we browsed the racks of sumptuous knits. When the time inevitably comes, you won’t find a better way to wave good-bye to summer.

Brunello Cucinelli, 939 N. Rush St.; 312-266-6000 or

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