The whole of the Eurozone is not like Greece, but then again, it's not all Germany either and nations like Italy have watched their economies stagnate as the years since 2008 continue to churn up hard times for all. Thankfully for Italy, however, there may be hope and it may be the fashion industry that's showing the way. Making quality sweaters and exporting them overseas, Brunello Cucinelli has seen growth in an environment where that's almost become a naughty word.
In a small workroom whose window overlooks the Umbrian countryside, women hold gray silk-linen cardigan sweaters up to light tables one-by-one, checking every knot and seam. When a worker finds a hole, she puts the sweater in a bag destined for repair or recycling.
This is how Brunello Cucinelliís fashion company tapped demand for quality Italian goods to lift sales of its $1,280 sweaters and other products by 15 percent last year. Itís a bright spot in a country where unemployment yesterday reached a record, industrial production is down 25 percent from 2007 and the longest slump in more than 20 years isnít abating. (Read More)