Luxury men’s clothing designer Nino Cerruti dies at 91

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Nino Cerruti, one of the most emblematic figures of luxury men’s ready-to-wear of the 20th century died on Saturday at the age of 91.

Born September 25, 1930 in Biella, he was forced to abandon his philosophy studies at the age of 20, after the death of his father Silvio, to take over the family textile factory and thus bury his dream of become a journalist. Nino Cerruti was the most French of Italian fashion designers when he opened his first boutique in 1967 in Paris, Place de la Madeleine, the starting point of a luxury brand that quickly became global, Euronews reports.

Abundant hair, aquiline nose, small smirk, this patriarch of Italian fashion never separates from his favorite yellow sweater that he wears at each of his fashion shows.

He “Signor Nino”, as he is affectionately called by his employees, dresses cinema celebrities, Richard Gere, Marcello Mastroianni, Robert Redford or even Jean-Paul Belmondo and makes brief appearances in Hollywood films such as Cannes Man (1996) or Holy Man (1998).

But in a context of fierce competition between the major luxury groups, which left little room for independent fashion houses, the designer sold his “Cerruti 1881” brand in 2001 to Italian investors.

“They don’t have a label strategy but an industrial strategy!” he protested two years later, before witnessing the bankruptcy of the new owners in 2005.

The Cerruti brand was then sold to the American investment fund MatlinPatterson, before ending up in Chinese hands in 2011, with its sale to the Trinity group.

Nino Cerruti had returned to square one after the sale of his group, in the family home in Biella, at the foot of the Alps, to devote himself to spinning wool, which was the springboard for the worldwide success of his brand.

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