Nino Cerruti, Italian menswear innovator, dies at 91

Milan: Nino Cerruti, the Italian fashion designer credited with revolutionizing menswear in the 1960s and giving Giorgio Armani his first break in fashion, has died, Italian media reported. I was 91.

Cerruti died in northwestern Italy, where his family had operated a textile company since 1881, the Italian news agency LaPresse reported. the italian newspaper Messenger Service said he had been hospitalized for hip surgery.

Men’s fashion pioneer: Nino Cerruti in 1969.Credit:Archive

Cerutti inherited the family business, based in the town of Biella in the Piedmont region, at the age of 20 following the death of his father in 1950. He launched his first menswear company, Hitman, in 1957 near Milan, dedicated to create elegance in clothing on an industrial scale. and become part of the nascent men’s prêt-à-porter segment.

Armani was hired as a young talent at the Hitman factory in the mid-1960s.

Armani remembered Cerruti as a creative entrepreneur with “a sharp eye, a real curiosity, the ability to dare,” adding that “his suave way of being bossy, bossy even” would be missed.

“Even if our contacts diminished over the years, I have always considered him one of the people who had a real and positive influence on my life,” Armani said in a statement. “From him I learned not only the taste for the softness of the wardrobe, but also the importance of an integral vision, as a designer and as an entrepreneur.”

In 1967, Cerruti founded the luxury menswear house “Cerruti 1881” in Paris, then the international capital of fashion, while keeping production in Italy. The softened silhouette, use of color, and attention to both innovative design and tradition won clients like French movie star Jean-Paul Belmondo.

Richard Gere wears Cerruti in a scene from Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts.

Richard Gere wears Cerruti in a scene from Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts.Credit:Archive

Soon Cerruti was in demand in Hollywood, with his designs worn on and off screen by stars like Michael Douglas in basic instinctRichard Gere in Beautiful womanand Tom Hanks in Philadelphia.

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