Not Just A Label – Cerruti

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“Fashion is a way of describing the world we live in.”

The Lanificio Fratelli Cerruti family textile business was founded in 1881 by three brothers with modest beginnings. The company was centred around an old mill in the Italian countryside and specialized in high quality woollen fabrics. Almost fifty years later, in 1930, Antonio, nicknamed Nino, Cerruti was born. He was the eldest grandson of the original three founders. Initially Nino Cerruti studied philosophy and hoped for a career as a writer. However, following his graduation and his father’s untimely death, he returned to the family business in 1950. The company’s transformation into a luxury label began when young Nino launched his first clothing line ‘Hitman’ in 1957, the collection was considered a revolution in men’s wear at the time.

He continued to develop and prosper as a designer in the 50s, commissioned to design costumes for four plays and launching a knitwear line in the early 60s. During the 60s a young designer named Giorgio Armani joined the Cerruti firm as an apprentice; it is thought that his time there greatly influenced many of his later collections. In 1967 Nino released a men’s ready to wear line and set up his studio in Paris in order to reach the French market. A womenswear collection finally followed nine years later in 1967 with another men’s wear line. 1967 was also the year the Cerruti boutique was opened in Place de la Madeleine in Paris where Nino Cerruti moved the company’s headquarters in order to bring the label closer to the international fashion capital. The company was split into Cerruti, the luxury clothing label and Lanificio Fratelli Cerruti Company which remained in Italy, together they formed the Fratelli Cerruti, the Cerruti Brothers group.

In 1980 Cerruti designed and released a sportswear line. Nino Cerruti is also widely recognised for his contributions to film costumes. Among the sixty films he designed for are the ‘Witches of Eastwick’, ‘Wall Street’ and ‘Baby Boom’. In 1995 the Cerruti Jeans line was launched, followed a year later by Couture Arte, a line for both men and women. Young designer Narcisso Rodriguez joined the label in 1996, collaborating with Cerruti on designs for the new lines. His designs were sensational and launched the label, once again, into the limelight, by bringing Hollywood glamour to a well-established European label. However his progressive designs scared off many of Cerruti’s customers and his ‘out with the old’ style was not appreciated by Nino Cerruti, so his contract was not renewed. Designer Peter Speliopoulos was brought in to help Nino Cerruti with the label a year later, he brought a fresh, understated, modern look to the label which was based entirely on skilled tailoring and quality tailoring. His designs proved to be more popular than his predecessors and brought many new customers to the label.

In 2001, half a century after he joined the family business, Nino Cerruti retired and sold the label. However the label continues to enjoy success in the haute couture industry. Cerruti clothes are classically tailored, with the quiet grace of skilled workmanship and high quality fabrics.

Shop Cerutti in our collection, Cerruti Navy Boyfriend Jacket