Pioneering Italian fashion designer Nino Cerruti died at the age of 91. The entrepreneur turned the family textile factory into a global fashion brand.
Cerruti died at the Vercelli hospital in Piedmont, where he had been admitted for a hip operation, Corriere della Sera reported.
“A giant among Italian entrepreneurs has left us,” said Gilberto Pichetto, deputy minister for economic development.
Cerruti was always the first to try on his creations. “I have always dressed the same person: myself,” he once said.
Cerruti: a revolutionary designer
Born in 1930 in Biella, Cerruti wanted to become a journalist. But he was pressured into giving up his studies to take over the family textile business when his father died.
His men’s collection, Hitman, propelled him into the limelight in 1957. It was revolutionary at the time.
He opened his first boutique a decade later in Place de la Madeleine in Paris. Over time, his fashion house expanded to include luxury lines and fragrances, grouped under his Cerruti 1881 brand.
1881 came from the year his grandfather founded a textile mill in Biella. Giorgio Armani worked for Cerruti for six years in the 1960s before going on to found his own label.
Designs used on the big screen
Cerruti also designed clothes for films including Bonnie and Clyde, Pretty Woman and Basic Instinct. He became the role of official designer for Ferrari in the mid-1990s.
The deisgner retired in 2000. He told the Observer newspaper at the time, “The environment was very different then. When I started working, it was still a traditional culture with less individuality, more social correctness.
“This has quickly moved on into a society in which there is more freedom, more originality and more incorrectness. It was a national, industrial society when I began; now it’s a global communications society.”