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Nino Cerruti dies aged 91

By Simone Preuss

Jan 17, 2022

People

Nino Cerruti (1985) | Foto: Ralph Gatti / AFP

Legendary Italian designer Nino Cerruti passed away on Saturday, 15th January 2022. According to the Italian newspaper <em>Corriere della Sera</em>, he died in the hospital of Vercelli in the Piedmont region, where he had undergone hip surgery.

“The employees of Maison Cerruti in Paris and their colleagues in HongKong SAR, China PRC, Taiwan RoC, and its licensed partners join his family, colleagues from Lanificio Cerruti, friends and all his admirers to express their deepest sadness for the death of Signor Nino,” read a post on the brand’s official Instagram account.

“Today, we have lost the epitome of a true gentleman, a man of talent, a revolutionary designer, a man in advance of his times, a philosopher of the garment, an extraordinary mentor, to whom the whole fashion world owes so much ever since he created his Maison in Place de la Madeleine in 1967,” the post continued.

At the age of only 20, after his father’s untimely death, Nino Cerruti took over the textile business founded by his grandfather in Biella in northern Italy in 1881, modernised it and added a garment production. In the days of custom tailoring, he made waves with his first ready-to-wear collection for men in 1957.

Just ten years later, he founded his own maison - 55 years ago - in Paris and is honoured as the inventor of the deconstructed jacket and “casual chic”, which emphasises movement and the natural elegance of the wearer. Giorgio Armani worked for him for six years in the 1960s before he founded his own eponymous brand in 1975.

In 1980, Cerruti was the first to integrate sportswear into the world of luxury. Then, 30 years ago, he added the brand’s the signature fragrance “1881”. In 2001, Cerruti sold his fashion house to Italian industrial group Finpart.

Cerruti was a passionate sportsman, avantgardist and visionary who criticised the state of the fashion industry back in 2005. “Where else can you find so much superficiality, egocentricity, so much ado about nothing? Such ignorance?” said the then 74-year-old in an interview with the German <em>Stern</em> magazine.

He also lamented about the fashion industry that “the percentage of talented people has drastically decreased”, but was also convinced that the person who is able to “breathe soul into a product is always indispensable” and proved this with his own example.

The family will communicate the details of the ceremony in the coming days.