Named for the Mediterranean stones ever-present on the Sicilian beaches where the founder was raised, Ghiaia (pron: GHE-I-YA) officially launched its men’s cashmere sweater collection in August 2019 before the pandemic forced them to switch gears and sell directly to consumers. “I was born and raised in Catania, Sicily, on the Etna Volcano side. I left the island when I was 20 and I spent the last 10 years traveling and living all over the world, says founder Davide Baroncini, who moved to Pasadena three years ago with his wife, Pia, a born and bred Pasadenian.
Baraoncini had spent the previous five years happily working for Brunello Cucinelli but decided to leave and establish roots in his wife’s hometown to be closer to her family. However, it was also important for him to have a “made in Italy” product. “We buy Cashmere from Cariaggi, which is certified and comes only from animals treated and raised in the respect of the ecosystem in a place like Mongolia and North of China,” explains Baroncini. “We have a small production, [so there’s little waste] and our goods are produced by a small factory lab in the middle of Italy that uses alternative energy resources.”
This spring, around the same time as the birth of the couple’s first child, they will open a retail and work space in the Burlington Arcade. Look for the perfectly plush, perfectly cut cashmere sweaters that will last for decades to come.