"Only an excellent fabric can originate an excellent fashion and design"
The Cerruti family textile business was started in 1881 by three brothers in Biella, Italy. Centred around an old mill, the company specialized in producing high quality woolen fabrics. Antonio (nickname Nino) was born there in 1930 in Biella, Italy. He was the eldest grandson of one of the brothers. Cerruti initially studied philosophy and had wanted to become a writer, however when he left University, he joined the family firm, at the age of 20 years, in 1950.
The start of the company's transformation into a luxury label came in 1957 when Cerruti launched a range of menswear called Hitman. During the 50's he continued to prosper, in his spare time also designing the costumes for 4 plays he was commissioned. In 1963, he launched a knitwear line. During the period 1961 to 1970, a young designer named Giorgio Armani joined his firm, and learned about designing. By 1967, he was ready to launch ready-to-wear, initially for men and nine years later, in 1976 for women. He also set up his studio in Paris in 1967 so that his garments would reach the French market. In 1980 the Cerruti Sports Line was launched.
Making clothes for films was also one of his important contributions to fashion. Among around 60 films he has designed for, are "Witches of Eastwick", Wall Street and Baby Boom. Cerruti says "ultimately, fashion is a way of describing the world we live in."
In 1996, Cerruti brought in a new young designer named Narcisso Rodriguez whose first collection was so sensational that Cerruti was again in the limelight. He brought an American sensibility to a well-established European house. Rodriguez worked alongside the company's founder, who is much loved by the Hollywood establishment. He dresses the half of the world that Armani doesn't, they share half and half. However, Rodriguez' world-shaking designs scared off some of Cerruti's customers and his personal acclaim was not much appreciated by Nino Cerruti, so his contract was not renewed. In 1997, Nino brought in another young designer to help him run the house. He was Peter Speliopoulos, a Greek, born in 1961. He gave the label a fresh modern look which was all about fine detail and exquisite fabrics. He was constantly travelling between New York and Paris and his designs were a reflection of his fast-line lifestyle. In 1998, the Cerruti New York showroom was opened and in 1999 a Boutique on Madison Avenue, New York. After over 100 years as a family business, Nino Cerruti retired and sold his business to Finpart in June 2001. In June 2001 they brought in Roberto Menichetti as Creative Director in September 2001, but he only stayed 6 months and resigned in March 2002.
Cerruti clothes are classically tailored, elegant and made of high quality fabrics. From its roots in 1881, the Cerruti name has expanded from luxurious fabric to acclaimed fashion without losing sight of its core values: Emphasizing quality, style, meticulous craftsmanship and design.
Created in 2015, Nino Cerruti + Cassia aims to embodying the brand’s 120 years of Italian tradition with the modernity of a Parisian fashion house by creating Cerruti-branded real estate assets that are timeless, designed with casually elegant interiors, softness, humour and sensuality.