Skip to main content
BoF Logo

The Business of Fashion

Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.

Fashion Boss Cucinelli Offers Vaccine Holdouts 6 Months Paid Leave

Brunello Cucinelli cashmere artisans | Source: Studio di Sante Castignani

Italian luxury boss Brunello Cucinelli is offering six months of paid leave to a handful of employees who have refused to vaccinate in order to protect workers who have taken their shots.

As the Rome government debated whether to make the jabs mandatory in some workplaces, Cucinelli said on Thursday that less than 1 percent of his group’s 1,200 workers had opted out of a vaccination campaign organised by the company a month ago.

“Clearly within the company their identity became known straight away. Now, as it’s only logic, the lads who used to work at the same table don’t want to be near those who have chosen not to get vaccinated,” Cucinelli told La Repubblica and La Stampa newspapers.

“My proposal for them is to stay home with six months paid leave and then we’ll see,” he said. “I can’t impose the vaccine, but I can’t put at risk those who decided to get vaccinated either.”


Cucinelli, famous for $1,000-plus cashmere sweaters, often promotes what he calls a “humanistic” approach to capitalism, based on respect for people and nature.

The company is headquartered in the medieval hamlet of Solomeo, in central Italy, where Cucinelli has repaved roads, planted vineyards, built a theatre and founded an arts and crafts school.

His offer for vaccine hold-outs comes as Italy’s business lobby Confindustria called this week for anti-COVID jabs to be made mandatory in the workplace - a proposal that looks unlikely to make much progress given political opposition to such measures.

Vaccination is already mandatory for health workers, and the government led by Mario Draghi is debating whether to extend that requirement to school personnel.

Italy, worried by a rapid surge in coronavirus infections, is also weighing whether to only allow people vaccinated with at least one dose into cinemas, restaurants and sports clubs, following similar restrictions imposed in France. An announcement is expected later on Thursday.

Opponents of tighter measures, including League leader Matteo Salvini whose party is part of the ruling majority, say they infringe on the freedom of choice of those who do not want the vaccination, and could delay a badly needed economic recovery.

By Silvia Aloisi; Editing by Giles Elgood

Further Reading: Why Fashion’s Most Vulnerable Companies Have the Most to Gain From a Vaccine

Strong results from Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine test sent stocks soaring, particularly for the retailers hardest hit by the pandemic. But the gains may be short-lived, analysts warn.

In This Article

© 2024 The Business of Fashion. All rights reserved. For more information read our Terms & Conditions

More from Luxury
Provide insight and analysis on fashion’s most powerful luxury brands.

LVMH Said to Shake Up Fashion Group Leadership

Former Louis Vuitton CEO Michael Burke is stepping back from overseeing LVMH’s sprawling Fashion Group just four months after he was named the unit’s chief executive, BoF has learned.

Mytheresa Doesn’t Rule Out Going Private as Sales Grow

As the Munich-based luxury e-tailer saw another quarter of high-flying sales and profit growth, its chief executive says speculations of the company going private are “not totally unreasonable” — but remains mum on widely reported M&A prospects.

Burberry Sales Fell 12 Percent in Early 2024

The brand isn’t the only one struggling in a cooling luxury market, but the weak numbers increase pressure on CEO Jonathan Akeroyd to deliver Burberry’s long-awaited turnaround.

view more

Subscribe to the BoF Daily Digest

The essential daily round-up of fashion news, analysis, and breaking news alerts.

The Business of Fashion

Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.
The State of Fashion 2024
© 2024 The Business of Fashion. All rights reserved. For more information read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Cookie Policy and Accessibility Statement.
The State of Fashion 2024