Who was Nino Cerruti? All about Italian fashion pioneer who died at 91

Nino Cerruti was the founder of Cerruti 1881 (Image via defustel/Instagram)
Nino Cerruti was the founder of Cerruti 1881 (Image via defustel/Instagram)

Nino Cerruti, an Italian businessman and designer, died on Saturday at 91. The news was confirmed by AFP.

Italian news agency LaPresse reported that Cerruti was hospitalized in Italy’s Vercelli Hospital. The founder of Cerruti 1881 underwent hip surgery at the hospital, following which he died.

Nino started his journey into fashion with the family textile business, Lanificio Fratelli Cerruti, established by his grandfather in 1881. The Biella-born stylist is recognized for his contribution to revolutionizing menswear.

Apart from this, he even gave Giorgio Armani his first opportunity in the fashion industry. Beyond a doubt, Nino Cerruti was among the pioneers of men’s fashion in the 20th century. He laid greater emphasis on a style that hung loose in harmony with elegancy.

Early life of Nino Cerruti

Nino Cerruti, born in 1930 in Biella, Italy, planned to pursue journalism as a career. At 20, after losing his father, Cerruti gave up on his dreams, as he had to take over the family business. He carried on with his father’s textile factory.

Cerruti attracted international recognition with his menswear collection, Hitman, which he launched in 1957. It was deemed revolutionary during that period.

Cerruti’s career in fashion

It was in 1967 that the brand Cerruti 1881 came into existence. He opened his first eponymous boutique in Place de la Madeleine of Paris. And to this place, he later moved his company’s offices.

With his exquisiteness, Nino achieved global attention, so his brand also gained acceptance.

Looking into the brand name, 1881 holds significance as it was the year when Cerruti’s grandfather established a textile mill in Biella.

At the zenith of his career, he designed glad rags for many Hollywood stars and world celebrities. The list includes names like Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, Julia Roberts, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Jack Nicholson, and French star Jean-Paul Belmondo.

With popularity, his fashion house enlarged its portfolio with the inclusion of luxury lines and fragrances.

Barely anyone would not know fashion figure Giorgio Armani, who got his first break in the 1960s and worked with Cerruti for six years before the establishment of his renowned brand.

Cerruti’s works as a designer can be viewed in various movies, including Bonnie and Clyde, Pretty Woman, and Basic Instinct. During his time working, he even undertook the position of official designer under Ferrari in the 1990s.

The venerable designer was endowed with numerous laurels for his work, including two Cutty Sark Menswear awards, the Munich Fashion Week award in 1981, and an Italian Pitti Uomo award in 1986.

It was after 40 years of contributions that the fashion icon finally retired in 2000. That same year, Cerruti sold his company’s jurisdictional stake to Fin.Part, an Italian industrial group.

Within a year, Fin.Part took complete hold of the company, and Nino Cerruti withdrew.

Netizens pay tribute to Nino Cerruti on Twitter

The bird app was filled with tributes that all netizens paid to the veteran fashion icon. The Italian fashion figure earned all the love and respect via his venerable contribution.

Nino Cerruti made immense contributions and helped in the shaping of high fashion. His death is a loss witnessed by the global fashion industry.

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Edited by Ravi Iyer