An excellence in knitwear since 1770, Drumohr finds its origins in the Scottish Highlands, where the Robertson family crafted their products with two peculiarities: a different type of yarn which made the items warmer and luxurious, and the “razor blade”, the distinctive pattern element everyone knows today.
In conversation with its owner and CEO, Mr. Michele Ciocca we learn about the heritage, future plans and how the sustainability is a key mantra in everything Drumohr does.
What does Drumohr heritage mean to you? Your family was manufacturing Drumohr before acquiring it, in which way did your Italian expertise enhanced the Scottish brand?
Drumohr Scottish heritage was one of the main reasons why my family decided acquire the brand, back in 2006. Prior to that, my family have been into production of high end socks for nearly 100 years. It was very fascinating and thrilling to build new business upon such a strong heritage brand as Drumohr. Since then, season after season we are trying to enhance our products, by closely following their ancient knitting technique and mixing it with our Italian taste and savoir fare.
Tell us about your house style and its details, the story of the ”razor blade” pattern and of course – your beautiful color scheme?
Oh, the Biscottino! It was no one else but L'Avvocato ("The Lawyer") Mr Gianni Agnelli who gave the nickname when referring to the our razor blade pattern. Back in the 1970s, Mr Agnelli used to gift his closest friends in Turin and Milan with patterned Drumohr sweaters. Since then, the pattern became sort of a sign of belonging, like a “clan pattern” sort of thing.
There are very few truly original and recognisable patterns in fashion today, especially where fast fashion and big logos dominate. In our case, the pattern says it all. What we’ve done in the past and keep doing is paying respect to our original pattern by mixing ton-sur-ton refined shades with more vibrant and contrasting ones, playing with it size and so on.
Tell us a bit about which fabrics do you use and how they fit into Drumohr products, in terms of design and function for contemporary men?
Our fabrics express at the very mix of Scottish heritage and Italian design. We commit to be faithful to what Drumohr is known for. In winter we mainly use cashmere and lambswool because we want our thickest sweaters to be comfortable, open woven and lightweight too. As an example, I'd like to mention our 18gg top cashmere or extra fine merino wool. More than 80% of our collection is all round knitted. This is a special production technique that is typically Scottish and rare to find these days. It grants the longevity of the usage while extremely comfortable. When it comes to lambswool sweaters, we offer both boiled and classic knits. They are so fashionable and reliable, you'll never want to wear anything else.
Sustainability is very important for the global consumer. What are your steps forward in terms of sustainable approach to the fashion industry?
There are several ongoing initiatives towards more sustainable approach. In the last decade we’ve been enhancing the green-side of the production whole 360°, starting from the manufacturing plant itself. We installed 1,500 solar panels covering the headquarters in the outskirts of Brescia, allowing the coverage of the energetic needs of the whole plant. As a result, we managed to reach a zero impact in the production process. Furthermore, we decided to strengthen the organisation in the manufacturing plant internalising many of the production steps.
This allow us to save time, fuel and reduce pollution and traffic in a natural environment of a beautiful countryside where Drumohr products are made. Finally, the choice of materials. We started a “Sustainable Lifestyle” eco-label, where Drumohr icons have been translated into 100% recycled cashmere or wool. This proper yarn was born itself from former Drumohr production leftovers that have been spinned anew. Sustainability, in a way became our mantra.
Your knitwear was worn by an international and very selective clientele, including the British Royal Family, the King of Norway, actors such as James Stewart and Audrey Hepburn and as well as L’Avvocato himself, Gianni Agnelli. Which products are you looking into now, and what can we expect from Drumohr in the future?
Drumohr exclusivity will be guarded and granted. Its DNA is not subject to the passage of time, fashion or trends. Our “statement pieces" that have always represented our style will keep being asserted. The worldwide distribution is focused on premium stores such as Lund & Lund and selected department stores. In the last few seasons we have invested in our brand and product recognition, as well as new categories such as coats, overshirts and blazers. We are not aiming to become a "total look" brand, but to express our values and rich history beyond knitwear.
Lastly, if you had to choose few items from Drumohr to wear for the rest of your life, what would they be?
This is easy: extra fine merino 140’s for its comfort and softness, and an all-year-round wearability. Brushed lambswool to be stylish, playful while staying warm. Last but not least our 18gg top cashmere. It is clean, classy, recognisable and long-lasting.