Stories - Style

Trussardi, the comeback

By Giuseppe Di Rosalia
9 min read

Trussardi is one of the longest-running Italian brands in the history of fashion, founded in Bergamo in 1911 by Dante Trussardi. Over the years, the brand has undergone changes, creating second lines and becoming more democratic, losing the allure of its beginnings. Let’s retrace the history of this brand that a few days ago announced its return to the fashion scene by entrusting the heritage to Serhat Işik and Benjamin A. Huseby, former founders and creative directors of the German brand GmbH.

The beginnings of Trussardi

The company was born as a laboratory for the production and distribution of luxury gloves. Since its origins, the brand has been synonymous with excellence, discreet elegance, experimentation and innovation. The quality of the raw materials and the constant research in leather processing lead it to become in a few decades one of the most successful companies on the international accessories scene, so much so that it soon became the official supplier of the English Royal House.

Nicola Trussardi

At the end of the 1960s, in the midst of the fashion and costume revolution that is upsetting the world, Dante’s grandson took over the reins of the company. Nicola Trussardi transformed the company into an industrial group. After realizing that the glove’s fate was sealed, it diversified its production and, in 1973, entered the luxury clothing and accessories sectors.

Nicola studies leather, processes, markets, the new trend that is imposing Italian taste in the world. Nicola’s vision is to create a lifestyle brand, capable of embracing every aspect of life with its style, always aiming for Italian excellence and elegance.

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Strengthened by a completely Made in Italy artisan tradition, passed down from generation to generation, Nicola Trussardi designed, produced and launched suitcases, bags, items for the home and office, jackets with ever new cuts. Trussardi products quickly establish themselves in Italy and in the world as symbols of absolute quality.

In the seventies he opened the first boutique in Milan (in 1976, in Via Sant’Andrea – still the brand’s flagship store today) and the Group expanded to all European and American markets.

The greyhound

In 1973 Trussardi was the first fashion house to adopt a logo that identifies all its products, the Greyhound. Icon of agility and dynamism, the Greyhound revolutionized the international fashion system leaving an indelible imprint in the imagination of those years with its refinement and elegance, with the obsessive attention to detail, with materials of unparalleled quality.


The first fashion shows

In the eighties, thanks to the success of the Greyhound, the company made its debut in clothing by launching its first collections for men and women. The maison became known to the general public with its first fashion shows. Nicola, a marketing expert, immediately faced the world of media with sensational operations, bringing his fashion shows in places such as the Teatro alla Scala, Piazza del Duomo, the Pinacoteca di Brera passing through the Stazione Centrale, arriving at the Hippodrome and Palatrussardi.

In the meantime he collaborated with the most important Italian companies to redefine Made in Italy (from Alitalia to Garelli, from Agusta to Alfa Romeo).

Nicola surrounded himself with intellectuals and artists, who gave their contribution to the brand. From the painter Renato Guttuso, from whose drawings he obtained a sunflower print, to directors and costume designers called to collaborate in the staging of fashion shows.


The entrepreneur, with the close collaboration of his wife Maria Luisa, proposed a prêt-à-porter with contemporary and dynamic lines, preferring new leather processing technologies and modern and precious materials.

But Nicola did not stop at fashion: he was among the first to understand the unstoppable value of the brand: he designed bicycles, tiles, perfume, cars, airplane interiors, helicopters, household linen.

Trussardi and the Theater

Over the years Trussardi has been able to harmoniously blend fashion with theater, costume with costumes. He collaborated with the Piccolo Teatro in Milan and its director Giorgio Strehler, dressing the Macbeth on stage at the Verona Arena and setting up a fashion show at the Castello Sforzesco directed by Dario Argento for the casual line Trussardi Action.

Nicola played himself in Robert Altman’s Prêt-à-porter. In 1986 he created the Palatrussardi, a new platform suitable for concerts and large events that hosts numerous performances, including Nirvana.


The expansion of the brand

Trussardi, became a real way of life, so much so that the group launched the Jeans, Home, Baby, Junior, Eyewear and Perfumes lines, becoming synonymous with elegance and absolute quality. In the nineties the company continued on the path of international expansion, aiming with foresight in the new emerging markets of Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

New single-brand boutiques were opened in Hong Kong (1992), Moscow (1993), Taiwan (1994). In those years it was also the image that spread the Trussardi style all over the world thanks to the collaboration with the most interesting voices of international photography such as Richard Avedon, Mario Testino, Michel Comte and Steven Klein. The opening of Trussardi to the general public, one of the core values of the brand’s lifestyle, led the Group to inaugurate Palazzo Marino Alla Scala in 1996.

It was the first flasghip building in the fashion world.

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Not only it housed showrooms and boutiques but it also had a space dedicated to exhibitions, a café, a bookshop, a boutique and a restaurant.

The six floors in Piazza della Scala summarized all the declinations of the Greyhound which expresses excellence in all its fields of action. In 1998 Nicola founded a school for the fashion operators of tomorrow, photographers and communicators. At the dawn of the new millennium, he died one night in April 1999 at the age of 57 in a car accident.

The Trussardi Group retains the values of a family business, extended to the rhythms and methods of contemporary life. After the death of their father, Beatrice and Francesco took the helm of the brand, introducing a younger fashion. In particular, Beatrice has been leading the company in the role of CEO and President of the Group since 2002. That year closed with a turnover of 125 million euros.

Beatrice Trussardi

The following year, in 2003, Francesco died at the age of 23 in a car accident, like his father. Beatrice was left alone to lead the company. Determined to carry on the work begun by her father and then by her brother, for the winter of 2004, she brought one of the most successful collection in the history of the brand to the catwalk.


In 2006 Beatrice appointed Eric Wright as chief designer, an American designer who worked side by side with Karl Lagerfeld at Fendi. Beatrice hired him with the aim of strengthening the men’s line, reversing the trade route. Forgotten colors and patterns were brought back into vogue, and the round shape was rediscovered for pocket objects.

Wright left Trussardi after only two years. So in 2008 the Group launched Trussardi 1911. A new brand of accessories and clothing for men and women, designed by Milan Vukmirovic, creative director of the maison.

Vukmirovic, former founder and artistic director of Colette in Paris, former creative director of Jil Sander, is a multifaceted figure who brought a light touch of modernity to the brand, maintaining the typical elegance of the Group. He pushed it towards the most innovative languages in the world and of contemporary style.

Alongside this line, the Tru Trussardi and TJ brands were also born, both dedicated to the needs of life in the city. The former was more work-oriented, while the latter was more suited for free time.

Alongside this line, the Tru Trussardi and TJ brands were also born, both dedicated to the needs of life in the city. The former was more work-oriented, while the latter was more suited for free time.


The last few years

In 2011 the brand celebrated 100 years. The Trussardi 1911 line officially became only Trussardi, while the link with Milan Vukmirovic was broken. The new head designer was Umit Benan Sahin, of Turkish descent, who had previously collaborated with Marc Jacobs, Cacharel and Sophie Theallet. Sahin debuted with her first collection at Milan Fashion Week for Spring / Summer 2012. The following year she was appointed Creative Director Gaia Trussardi, within the company from the age of 23.

The brand expresses the need for continuous evolution and to strengthen its identity.

Beatrice then retired from the fashion business to devote herself exclusively to the Foundation. She left 25% of her shares to her brother Tomaso, who became the Group’s CEO starting in 2013. The company announced a five-year plan to reposition the brand in the luxury sector accessible. Tru Trussardi line was closed, while the Trussardi and Trussardi Jeans lines continued. The first one is elegant and boasts a cool style, the second is much more street.

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Trussardi has introduced a very contemporary new bag, the Lovy Bag. The bag, made with the finest materials, represents true Italian craftsmanship.

Michelle Hunziker, brand ambassador, perfectly represented the ironic and elegant elements of the brand. Self-confident, with a bubbly personality, Michelle has appeared in all Lovy Bag advertising campaigns since 2016.

The new era

On May 25, 2021, surprisingly, the company announced that Serhat Işık and Benjamin A. Huseby, founders of the Berlin-based brand GmbH, are the new creative directors of the brand. The stylists arrive after three years of internal team after the heir Gaia Trussardi left his post in 2018.

In the press release issued by the brand it is stated that the designers would have guided Trussardi’s creative life “under a single label” including design and branding. A statement that therefore excluded the existence of secondary lines.

Another message is the importance of the values of “inclusiveness and social responsibility” that the two will bring to the brand’s new collections. The first collection that the duo will sign for the brand will be the FW22.

Serhat Işik and Benjamin A. Huseby created GmbH, a Berlin underground brand, placing values such as the genderlessness of fashion and the vocation for sustainable production at the center of their work.

During the SS21 season, the brand further strengthened its commitment to progressive fashion with the screening of Lars Laumann’s A Season of Migration to the North. The plot tells the story of gay activist Eddie Esmail, who was arrested after taking part in a fashion show in Sudan and later took refuge in Norway. Their arrival at Trussardi should add a new protagonist to the Milanese luxury scene. We’ll see.

9 min read


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