Italian leathergoods and accessories manufacturer
Founded: in Bergamo, Italy, as a glove making firm by Dante Trussardi, 1910. Company History: Firm taken over by nephew Nicola Trussardi, 1970; first boutique opened, Milan, 1976; jewelery collection introduced, 1976; fragrances introduced, Action Uomo for men and Action Donna for women, early 1980s; men's and women's ready-to-wear collections and Trussardi Junior line introduced, 1983; Trussardi Jeans, Trussardi Action, and Trussardi Sport collections introduced, 1987; designed Italian Olympic team uniforms, 1988; new fragrance, Trussardi Action Sport, launched, 1993; Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquiére creates two collections, 1997; Jeremy Scott hired as design consultant, 1999; Francesco and Beatrice Trussardi take over after Nicola's death, 1999. Awards: Nicola Trussardi named Cavalier of the Great Cross, Italy, 1987. Company Address: Piazza Duse 4, 201 22 Milan, Italy.
Gasperini, Nicoletta, and Giovanni Gaspel, Trussardi estate 1985, Milan, 1985.
——, Il mondo di Trussardi: nelle immagini di Giovanni Gastel, Milan, n.d.
Casadio, Mariuccia, and Samuele Mazza, Trussardi, Milan & Corte Madera, California, 1998.
Frosh, Jennifer, "Camping in with Trussardi," in WWD, 8 July 1977.
"La Maison Trussardi: A Distinctive Style," in Esquire, February 1998.
Cohen, Edie, "Trussardi alla Scala: Gregotti Associati Renovates a Palazzo in Milan's Center for the Global Fashion Concern," in Interior Design, April 1998.
Nemy, Enid, "Nicola Trussardi, 56, Who Led Family Fashion House in Italy," [obituary] in the New York Times, 16 April 1999.
"Nicola Trussardi," [obituary] in the Washington Post, 17 April 1999.
"Trussardi," available online at Fashion Live Interviews, www.FashionLive.com, 19 March 2001.***
For over 60 years the Italian family firm of Trussardi manufactured high quality leather gloves. Opened in 1910 by Dante Trussardi in Bergarmo, the company had a limited but well-respected reputation for its goods. In 1970 Nicola Trussardi, a graduate of business and economics from the University of Milan, joined the family firm and worked alongside his father, Giordano, and his older brother, Dante. After Dante died in a car accident, Nicola ran the family business with his father. With high ambitions for broadening Trussardi's scope and production and after comprehensive research, Nicola introduced a wide range of luxury goods made to the highest possible standards. Top-quality leather goods like belts, wallets, bags, and luggage were followed by umbrellas, ties, and shoes.
By 1976 the first exclusive Trussardi boutique opened in Milan and further accessory products, together with gold and silver jewelry, were presented. All merchandise was stamped with a trademark greyhound, the sleek symbol of nobility and antiquity, now well established as a mark for Italian quality. By the end of the 20th century, there were well over 50 boutiques in Italy alone, plus international boutiques throughout Europe, the U.S., and the Far East as well as exports to many luxury department stores.
By 1983 Nicola Trussardi was devoting much energy to the launch of the company's first ready-to-wear collection. Clean-cut and essentially classic, the ranges of men's and womenswear soon diversified to include knitwear, skiwear, eveningwear, and Trussardi Junior, a children's clothing line. The clothes reflected the exclusive luxury of the established leather and accessory goods, yet were modern in feel, casual, and wearable. Favored fabrics included leathers (often embossed or treated), velvets, wool jerseys, and furs. Some collections adopted more avant-garde trends such as Empire line suits in oversize plaids, sleeveless A-line leather slipovers or a side-split plaid skirt dangerously perched at hipster level. Such an approach kept the collection youthful and provided a healthy fashion content, while retaining the ever-present sense of lavish expense and exquisite taste.
Trussardi has been noted for presenting collections in prestigious sites, organized and participated in by the most noted international names in theatre, cinema, and opera. The first ready-to-wear collection was presented in La Scala in Milan; another was shown in an enormous mostly transparent cube constructed in Piazza Duomo in the heart of Milan. The theatricality of these showings was obviously designed to attract the maximum media coverage for the Trussardi name.
In 1987 Trussardi segued into jeans and sport lines, then designed Italy's team uniforms for the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea. Fervently nationalist, Trussardi had also sponsored the building of the Palatrussardi in 1986, an important center for sports and entertainment ventures in Milan. The launch of a new fragrance, Trussardi Action Sport, reinforced the company's sporty image in 1993 (previous scents included Action Uomo and Action Donna ), while a new 70,000-square-foot headquarters in Milan's Piazza della Scalla in 1996 reflected Trussardi's enduring legacy of luxury.
Frenchman Nicolas Ghesquiére, who designed for Balenciaga, created two popular collections for Trussardi for 1997, and was followed in 1999 by American Jeremy Scott, who was hired to spice up Trussardi's jeans and sports lines. Yet the deal with Scott had barely been made when tragedy again struck the Trussardi family— Nicola was in a coma following a car accident. Two days after the accident, on 15 April 1999, Nicola died from his injuries.
Nicola Trussardi's family, including his wife Maria Luisa, and children Beatrice, Francesco, Gaia, and Tomaso had all been involved in the family business in one way or another for several years. After Nicola's death Beatrice and Francesco supervised Trussardi's design department, opting to end the planned collaboration with Jeremy Scott. Collections for 2000 and 2001 were as luxe and conservative as those of previous years, including a myriad of leathers and suedes, chamois, bright neoprene, as well as crocodile and python.
updated by Owen James