The designer and entrepreneur from Biella (Italy) Nino Cerruti died at the age of 91.
Elegant in that wonderfully nonchalant way of someone who knows everything and flaunts nothing, he was the head of the historic family wool mill until the end. Making unique fabrics, with unwavering passion, and between 1967 and 2001 doing fashion. Giorgio Armani started with him, learning a lot. In fact, he is responsible for intuitions that have become part of contemporary costume: the deconstructed dress, in particular, imagined as a must for men and women. In the historic Paris boutique, designed by Vico Magistretti, men’s clothes, something unheard of, mixed with women’s ones.
Fashion designer and entrepreneur famous all over the world, not just the fashion one, Nino Cerruti, born in 1930, inherited the family business at a very young age. In 1950, at the age of 20, with the death of his father, he took over the reins. Over the years he has invested heavily, as the company website recalls, in the research and development of materials, adding particular attention to design with taste and highly personal intuitions. Since 1957 he has achieved worldwide resonance with the presentation in Milan of his first clothing line, the “Hitman”. In 1962 he founded with Osvaldo Testa the “Flying Cross” brand, the first “Designer Line” to be added to the Hitman line.
In 1967 he opened the first Cerruti 1881 boutique in Place de la Madeleine in Paris. In the mid-sixties in his Lanificio Fratelli Cerruti he avails himself of the collaboration of new emerging names of Italian fashion, hiring as a designer a rookie of the caliber of Giorgio Armani. In the seventies he created the first deconstructed jacket. It establishes licensing agreements in Japan and the USA in order to increase the visibility of the brand internationally and to maintain competitive prices in multiple markets, demonstrating that, in addition to artistic skills, it has a strong entrepreneurial vocation in the global market. In these years, the women’s line was also born, which twenty years later will represent 20% of the company’s total turnover
In 1975 Hitman began the production and distribution of knitwear, shirts and the casual line: Cerruti 1881 Brothers. At the end of the seventies he also launched the first men’s perfume linked to the brand, called “Nino Cerruti”, followed by other intuitions and innovations: in the eighties the sportswear line, particularly appreciated for clothing dedicated to tennis and skiing. In short, it sponsors world-famous athletes such as American tennis player Jimmy Connors and Swedish skier Ingemar Stenmark.
The brand’s popularity increased further in 1994, when the brand was named the official designer of the Ferrari Formula 1 team. In addition, single-brand stores are opened in China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia and on Madison Avenue in New York. In 2000 Nino Cerruti was appointed Cavaliere del Lavoro by the President of the Republic. A year later Cerruti Holding sells the Cerruti 1881 brand to concentrate on the Lanificio Fratelli Cerruti where Nino Cerruti will continue his entrepreneurial activity. Coco Chanel loved her pants that she found perfect. She has dressed up stars in life and in the movies: The Silence of the Lambs, to name one. In recent years, Cerruti has influenced fashion upstream, with textile creations that are the result of an eagle’s eye, an incessant curiosity, the drive to innovate which is a personal urgency. Until the end indomitable and very elegant.