How Trussardi intends to “shake off the dust”

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Trussardi spends a moment. This Saturday during Milan Fashion Week, GmbH founders Benjamin A Huseby and Serhat Isik will present their second collection for the 111-year-old Italian label. Shortly thereafter, in October, the flagship Palazzo Trussardi in Milan’s Piazza della Scala will reopen with a new store and an upscale restaurant and café headed by Michelin-starred chef Giancarlo Perbellini.

Huseby and Serhat, together with CEO Sebastian Suhl, are leading a turnaround for Trussardi that seeks to attract a new generation of consumers and rekindle the passion of old fans. Along with revamped collections, they’re rethinking its retail network, e-commerce operations and marketing — a 360-degree approach that they hope will help “shake the dust” off the once-exciting brand.

Trussardi was founded in 1911 as a luxury glove brand. In the 1980s and 1990s, it became a pioneering brand of ready-to-wear and contemporary leather goods, building a global retail network that today includes 400 wholesale customers and 55 directly operated stores plus the flagship Palazzo Trussardi. However, the company struggled to maintain its relevance as the contemporary fashion category exploded. In 2017, it recorded losses of 30.6 million euros, per Reuters. Private equity firm QuattroR, which specializes in reviving struggling Italian businesses, took a 60% majority stake in 2019 (the Trussardi family retains a minority stake).

Suhl, an industry veteran who has held leadership roles at Valentino, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy and Prada Group, joined Trussardi as CEO in October 2020. Last year he drafted Huseby and Isik, best known for their club-inspired Berlin brand. GmbH – as creative directors to infuse it with youthful energy.

For their first Fall/Winter 2022 season, the duo presented a slightly subversive, all-black, textured collection that some critics saw as a radical departure from Trussardi’s past, even though it drew inspiration from the brand’s archives. . For Spring/Summer 2023, the duo plan to “expand” the Trussardi wardrobe, with new products based on basics they’ve seen worn on the streets of Milan, subverted through their avant-garde lens.

In an extensive interview, Suhl, Huseby and Isik discuss their shared vision for Trussardi’s future.

Business in vogue: Trussardi is one of the oldest fashion houses in Italy. How would you describe its heritage and what did you think of it when you joined?

Benjamin A. Huseby: Our first impression of Trussardi was based on personal memories of the late 1990s, seeing very minimalist campaigns with cool models of the era wearing leather. And then, after having worked here and delved into the archives, we did a “dig” as we call it, on what Trussardi is and can be. It has a very rich history. In the 1980s and 1990s, it was a truly forward-thinking brand in many ways, from retail to campaigns. It was all quite surprising.

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