Nicola Trussardi

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Nicola Trussardi
Born June 17, 1942
Bergamo, Lombardy
Died April 14, 1999(1999-04-14) (aged 56)
Cause of death Injury following automobile accident
Education BA Commerce and Economics
Alma mater Catholic University of Milan
Occupation Fashion designer
Years active 1970-1999
Known for Expanding the Trussardi fashion line internationally
Spouse(s) Marialuisa Trussardi

Nicola Trussardi (June 17, 1942 – April 14, 1999) was an Italian fashion designer and entrepreneur. He took over the Trussardi fashion line in 1970 and built the small glove-maker into an international brand. He also led the restoration of the Marino alla Scala in Milan. The Nicola Trussardi Foundation was named in his honor.

Early life[edit]

Trussardi was born in Bergamo, Lombardy. In 1968 Trussardi graduated from the Catholic University of Milan in Commerce and Economics.[1][2]


Invitation to the Autumn-Winter collection for Trussardi, 1983

In 1970 he started working in his family's glove-making business, which was founded in 1910 by his grandfather Dante Trussardi, following the death of his older brother. Near the end of the 1970s he took the business over entirely after the death of his father.[3][4] Trussardi turned it into a major company that helped contribute to the popularity of the made-in-Italy label throughout the world. He expanded Trussardi's product line beyond gloves to include luxury accessories, and in 1973 he created Trussardi's spiky greyhound logo. A few years later, Trussardi launched a line of leather jackets, the first step toward a ready-to-wear line which, by the 1980s, encompassed womenswear, menswear, sportswear and children's wear. In 1985 the once small family business was now worth $182 million, and he had opened about 120 stores and franchises around the world, with Trussardi owning ten of them himself. Trussardi personally took on some of the special projects the company was hired to do, such as designing airplane and helicopter interiors.[5]

In 1988, Trussardi outfitted the Italian athletes competing in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea.[6] Then in 1989, Trussardi used his collection to protest both the deforestation of the world's rainforests, and the use of real animal fur by his contemporaries. He used exclusively faux-fur, and included letters of protest against deforestation in the entrance bags given to the attendees of that year's fashion shows.[7] Throughout his career, Trussardi spent time promoting the marketing phrase "Made in Italy" and Italian fashion in general.[3] By the time of Trussardi's death in 1999, his business was worth about $480 million.[8] He was also a costume designer for play productions staged in both Europe and the United States.[9]

Trussardi also designed costumes for the stage, including a November 1985 production at Teatro Valle, Rome, of “Bestia da Stile” by Pier Paolo Pasolini, a September 1986 production at Verona Arena, Verona, of “Macbeth” by Giuseppe Verdi, and a September 1987 International Ballet Gala at the Piazza dei Miracoli, Pisa.[10]

Marino alla Scala[edit]

Marino alla Scala

In 1996 Trussardi restored the Marino alla Scala, located beside the La Scala opera house in Milan, which now contains several different establishments, including a Trussardi boutique and showroom. He originally purchased the building in 1989, and spent about $67 million over seven years to have the complex completed. During the construction, the municipal government attempted to extort money from Trussardi through major fines and slow bureaucratic responses. The property was originally built in 1876, and was restored by Dutch artists Ben Van Os and Rainer Van Brummelen in the neo-mannerist style. The first exhibition to be held in the gallery was a series of 105 sketches by Pablo Picasso.[11]


Fondazione Trussardi

Trussardi has undertaken many other initiatives, including the creation of the Palatrussardi in Milan, which has hosted a number of pop and rock concerts, including that of Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli, and Sammy Davis, Jr.. Other projects included a specially fitted-out Mini, produced by Innocenti. The Nicola Trussardi Foundation is a non-profit institution for the promotion of contemporary art and culture under the direction of president Beatrice Trussardi. Since 2003 the Foundation has decided to concentrate its resources on the realization of contemporary art events in the public spaces of the city of Milano. In 2009 the foundation sponsored an art exhibition at the Venice Biennale curated by Daniel Birnbaum, featuring a sound installation by Roberto Cuoghi.[12] It celebrated its tenth anniversary at the Venice Biennale as well in 2013.[13]

Trussardi himself also advocated for an area of Milan to be demarcated the "Citta della Moda", where all Milanese designers would have boutiques and which would house all future fashion shows for the city's fashion companies and labels. The project was abandoned after Trussardi's death, and several Milanese designers have since constructed their own private showcase spaces.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Trussardi was a supporter of the arts in Milan, and a collector of fine sculpture. Trussardi owned a villa on the island of Elba, where he frequently entertained. Trussardi had four children, two daughters and two sons with his wife Marialuisa, who worked alongside Nicola his whole professional life as the company's creative director. His hobbies included racing speed boats and flying his Citation II aircraft as a licensed amateur pilot.[3] Trussardi was killed when he lost control of his Mercedes-Benz on Tangenziale Est of Milan and hit a lamp post in the early hours of the 13th of April, 1999. He died the following day in Milan.[15][16][17]


Costume designer (partial)
  • Demons: The Nightmare Is Back (1986)


  1. ^ a b Enid Nemy (April 16, 1999). "Nicola Trussardi, 56, Who Led Family Fashion House in Italy". New York Times. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  2. ^ Armando Testa and Mario Garbuglia (1990). Profilo Italia: Un Certo Stile Made in Italy : Design, Arte, Creatività Italiana in Mostra a Torino: Catalogo Della Mostra, Torino, 10-25 Novembre 1990, Palazzo Vela. p. 168. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d Samantha Conti (April 15, 1999). "NICOLA TRUSSARDI DEAD AT 56". WWD. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Nicola Trussardi". The Herald. April 27, 1999. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Designs on US expansion inspire Nicola Trussardi". WWD. September 26, 1985. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Nicola Trussardi". Retrieved May 27, 2014. 
  7. ^ Jill Gerston. "Top Designers Are Cozying Up To Fake Furs Anti-fur Sentiment In Milan May Lack The Fire Of The U.s. Movement. But In Fall Shows, The Fashion World Is Making A Statement For Animal Rights". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved May 27, 2014. 
  8. ^ Suzy Menkes (April 20, 1999). "Head To Foot: Essence Is Detail". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Giancarlo Grossini (1986). Firme in passerella - Italian style, moda e spettacolo. edizioni Dedalo. p. 216. 
  11. ^ Samantha Conti (September 25, 1996). "Trussardi builds his dream palazzo". WWD. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  12. ^ "LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA – 53. Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte". Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ JJ MARTIN (February 21, 2013). "New luxury area expected to fill city's retail gap". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved May 27, 2014. 
  15. ^ Head of Italian fashion house dies
  16. ^ "Designer injured". Birmingham Evening Mail. April 13, 1999. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Fashion designer dies". The Herald. April 15, 1999. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 

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