May 16, 2022 4:26 pm

Goodbye to Nino Cerruti, the “philosopher stylist” who revolutionized men’s fashion

ROME.- At the age of 91, he died yesterday Nino Cerruti, famous Italian stylist who dressed several Hollywood stars, launched Giorgio Armani and revolutionized the way men dress.

“Mr. Nino” died at a hospital in Vercelli, Piedmont, in northern Italy, from complications after hip surgery, Italian media said.

Born on September 25, 1930 in Biella, in northern Italy, and the son of textile entrepreneurs, it was at the age of 20, in 1950, when he was forced to take the helm of the family industry after his father died. So, he had to leave his philosophy studies, a fact for which later, when he succeeded in the world of men’s fashion, some later went on to call him the “philosopher stylist”.

Suddenly catapulted to the head of Lanificio Fratelli Cerruti despite the fact that he had other dreams, instead of continuing with tradition, with a vision of the future and understanding where the market was going, he turned the family business around. In 1957 he founded Hitman, a luxury men’s clothing line, to which he added Flying Cross five years later.

Nino Cerruti in 1985RALPH GATTI – AFP

“Style is balance, with a touch of theatrics”, used to say the stylist, who in 1965 dared to open a boutique on the Place de la Madeleine in Paris. It was in France, in effect, that he understood the tendencies of society, according to The Republic, who recalled that it was he who first made pants enter the women’s daily wardrobe, at a time when some restaurants did not admit women wearing pants. That audacity was appreciated by the then old and fearsome Coco Chanel, who immediately commissioned pants for her collection and was one of her admirers.

In 1967 he founded Cerruti 1881, a brand for which emerging names in Italian fashion began to work, such as Giorgio Armani, who was then making his debut as a designer. It is in this period that Cerruti launched the so-called deconstructed jacket, which later became the Armani flagship.

modern and revolutionary

Considered the most French of Italian stylists, Cerruti’s modern and revolutionary yet unquestionably elegant style won over international clientele. At the end of the 1970s, the stylist and entrepreneur also launched the first men’s perfume Nino Cerruti and was linked to the world of sports thanks to lines dedicated to skiing and tennis, sponsoring world-famous athletes such as the American tennis player Jimmy Connors and the swedish skier Ingemar Stenmark.

At the same time he conquered the world of cinema, with John Paul Belmondo who became one of his favorite clients, as well as Hollywood stars like Richard Gere whom he dressed in Pretty Woman, Michael Douglas, Tom Hanks, Jack Nicholson and many others.

Italian designer Nino Cerruti and French actress Catherine Deneuve in 1999
Italian designer Nino Cerruti and French actress Catherine Deneuve in 1999JACK GUEZ – AFP

The popularity of his brand grew even more in 1994 when he was named official designer of the Ferrari Formula 1 team and when, a year later, the production of the Cerruti Arte women’s line began, this time designed by another promising young stylist, Narciso. Rodriguez. With this another talent from the world of fashion, completed the feminine image of the House, “never banal, never vulgar, never excessive and always attentive to changes”, according to the newspaper The messenger.

In 1998 he presented the last of his men’s perfumes, Cerruti Image at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. That same year, he opened a Cerruti store on New York’s Madison Avenue and, in 2000, another in Hong Kong.

For many, Cerruti was one of the few true masters of style and one of the most elegant men in the world of fashion. So much so that in 2015 the famous menswear review Pitti Uomo, from Florence, dedicated an exhibition entitled “Mr. Nino” to his wardrobe. “It is not surprising then why the powerful of the earth loved their fashion so much, capable of giving style to those who did not have it,” he stressed. The Republic.

Giorgio Armani expressed sadness at the death of Cerruti and stressed that despite the fact that over the years they had had little contact, he always considered him one of the most influential people in his life. “From him I learned not only the taste of the softness of tailoring -he commented-, but also the importance of a round vision, as a stylist and as an entrepreneur. Mr. Nino had a sharp look and a real curiosity, capable of daring”.

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