“It’s almost an affliction, it’s got to be quality,” Brad Pitt told WWD of his approach to God’s True Cashmere, the feel-good luxury label he cofounded with his friend and holistic healer, Sat Hari.
The brand’s gender-neutral, two-pocket cashmere work shirts in solids and tartans, with handcrafted snap buttons made from healing stones like emeralds for health and wealth; lapis lazuli for wisdom and truth, and labradorite for balance and protection are the latest cult casual-luxe item to come out of Los Angeles.
Soft like a hug (a hug from Brad Pitt, no less), the $2,000-plus shirts are being snapped up by in-the-know shoppers in stores from Serenella in Boston to Boon the Shop in Seoul.
Four years in, God’s True Cashmere is in growth mode, with a new e-commerce site, plans to launch more styles and a push to expand wholesale, with a showroom in Paris during the women’s ready-to-wear season March 3 to 6.
“We want the shirts to be the face of the brand,” Pitt said, explaining his aim to stay in the background in his business ventures, which include Le Domaine skin care and the Miraval wine label.
“We soft launched in 2019, nobody knew he was affiliated and it kept selling out,” said God’s True Cashmere cofounder Sat Hari, who also has her own jewelry line, Amrit. “There’s an attraction to the actual product, the quality of the product.”
“We really felt that the history and spirit of the brand were so rich, we wanted to share that story with our customers,” said Jeannine Lee, head of womenswear buying at Selfridges in London, which had a God’s True Cashmere pop-up for two months over the holidays, and continues to stock the line. “The pop-up performed extremely well for us; the quality, craftsmanship and design of the collection really resonates with our clients — a timeless luxury product with a touch of effortless cool.”
The collection also sells at Blake, Just One Eye, Performance Ski Aspen and Hirschleifers in the U.S., Apropos in Germany, Trois Palm in Switzerland and at Goop online.
“The growth has been organic, up until 2022 that had been our strategy,” said Sadh Khalsa, the brand’s chief financial officer. “Finding retailers who are excited and see where we are going to be in five years, that’s how we’ve been able to do six times the volume in sales from where we started.”
“When you look at the sell-through with the price positioning, it’s one of a kind,” said Gilles Assor, a brand consultant with experience at Martin Margiela, Marc Jacobs and other big labels, who sought out and joined GTC after buying the shirts off the rack at Just One Eye in L.A. “One of the big problems we had is we are sold out of stock,” he added, noting that retailers will be able to preorder the collection for the first time in March.
As often happens in L.A., the brand’s cofounders first bonded over health and wellness.
“Someone needed healing and someone provided healing,” Pitt said, describing his relationship with Sat Hari, who grew up in northern India, as sibling-like. “One of the many things I love is she’s been a human guinea pig for anything on the health, spiritual or psychology front.”
The idea for making shirts came to her in a dream, which coincided with Pitt mentioning that he wanted more green and softness in his life.
Sat Hari decided to make him a green cashmere shirt for a Christmas gift, similar to the flannels that were his daily go-to. When she couldn’t find anyone who could do it, she resolved to figure it out on her own. After being introduced through a friend to a factory owner in Italy, she produced a small run.
“The shirt was just so damn cozy, it was like let’s make some more,” Pitt said of how the brand got off the ground.
They went through a load of names, including CashPitt (“horrible,” he laughed) and hit on God’s True Cashmere because Sat Hari in Sanskrit loosely translates to God’s Truth.
“I have always been attracted to the healing properties of stones, so I thought why not put gemstone snaps on the shirt on the seven chakras up the front of your body almost like a talisman that protects you, like this energetic force field around you?” she said of the hand-cut gems.
“I’m also really into numerology and the number 11 is the number of mastery,” she explained of the significance of having 11 buttons on the shirts with two flap pockets.
“I don’t claim to have any of the knowledge Sat does about numerology or chakras, but if she tells me to do it, I do it,” Pitt said. “I feel better since I met her.”
Feeling better is part of the brand ethos, reflected in online descriptions such as “Each of our shirts are Made in Italy with 100 percent cashmere worthy of the God in you,” and “We made this shirt for you because you deserve to be loved.”
The two work together on picking colors and yarns and coming up with tartans, usually at the kitchen table, using reference photos from nature, interiors and travel for inspiration.
“I’m one of those people who wants to be constantly making,” said Pitt, who has also designed furniture. “I feel like I get stagnant, I feel crusty and dumpy. If I’m not making something I feel a little worthless, so it’s another fun corner to dabble in. I like to use my hands and I’m a quality junkie.”
It’s true Pitt never thought he’d be in the fashion business. “But when something’s really nice, I do take notice, I’m not oblivious to it. I am thinking of Loro Piana, which has quality inside and out. I pick up a lot of things that are sold out and it turns out to be The Row. I have immense respect for what the [Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen] have done.”
He’s careful to point out Sat Hari does the heavy lifting, but he’s also guiding the evolution. For example, the brand recently introduced its first track suit, in a tonal brown plaid, after Pitt asked for one. It sold out instantly. Needing holiday gifts for friends, they added blankets, pillows, hats and socks, always bringing in precious stone snap button details as a signature.
“I want a jumpsuit, they are the ultimate in laziness, you just hop in and zip them up. I think of ‘A Clockwork Orange’ or something,” Pitt said. “A skirt would work really well,” mused the actor, who wore a linen skirt to a Berlin screening of the film “Bullet Train” last summer.
The partners are committed to building the brand on responsible luxury.
Cashmere is sourced from suppliers who are Responsible Wool and Global Recycle Standard certified and the shirts are produced in a small artisan workshop in Italy, with stones sourced in India. Product is shipped in organic, brushed cotton bags, and plastics are not used in displays or storage.
“There’s an appetite for what we’re doing, we’re seeing that in our repeat customers.…We connect on experience, uniqueness and touch,” said Khalsa, who projects the brand could grow six times again this year.
“We’re targeting key retail players in major markets. We launched our website. We are doing direct-to-consumer in a niche way, so right now you can access our icon collection, which is an opportunity for customers to come back and get styles they may have missed,” she said.
New shirt silhouettes are on the horizon, along with a lightweight summer capsule collection. They are also looking at using more reclaimed cashmere, Khalsa said. “One of our favorite quotes is, ‘If it’s done in love, it will work.’”