Tomaso Trussardi on Using Fashion to Show Values

Tomaso Trussardi on Using Fashion to Show Values

Published: November 30, 2011 (Issue # 1685)


St. Petersburg hosted the Russian premiere of the Trussardi collection on Nov. 17.

Smart opinionated chic: This is what Trussardi women are all about, according to Tomaso Trussardi, general director for development of the Trussardi fashion house, who was in St. Petersburg last week for the Russian premiere of the Trussardi Spring/Summer-2012 Women’s Collection.

The collection was designed by Umit Benah Sahin as part of Elle Fashion Days and celebrations of the brand’s 100th anniversary.

Put simply, if you have nothing to say, you are unlikely to make a fashion statement. In Trussardi’s opinion, what makes a woman beautiful and appealing is not so much her physiognomy or figure, but rather a bit of spice in her personality.

“When we design our collections, we give less thought to things like, say, the hair color, height or weight of our customers — we definitely do not work for some fairies with ideal shapes, but rather for women made of flesh and blood — but seek to penetrate their minds instead,” he said. ‘We even sponsor sociological research into contemporary women’s values, life goals and attitudes.”


St. Petersburg hosted the Russian premiere of the Trussardi collection on Nov. 17.

Trussardi’s philosophy on fashion and beauty echoes the sentiments of his compatriot, the film actress Stefania Sandrelli, who was in town for the International Film Festival in July. For Sandrelli, a beautiful woman is simply, “a woman who smiles,” while fashion “is a wonderful tool to express your personality and daily mood.”

Intriguingly, these attitudes are somewhat at odds with the stereotypes that reign in Russian society today. In the multiple fashion-related shows that have mushroomed on the country’s television channels, young men pull faces at photographs of women who wear little makeup and lack glamour, accusing them of “not being done up” or “not being polished.” Sociological polls held among women also show that looking well-groomed opens almost all doors, is synonymous with success, and, most importantly, makes you irresistible when it comes to catching Mr. Right. The older you get, the bigger your size, the further you move away from fashion: In Russia, it is seen as the domain of the young, slim and wealthy.

Trussardi is on a crusade to change all that. While most of his Russian clients who shop for Trussardi items in Italy fall into the above-described category of the privileged, he is campaigning among Russian women here to adopt the Italian, less stereotype-focused views on dressing, meaning using fashion to show some spiritual values, rather than demonstrate purchasing power.

“A boring person cannot really be attractive,” Trussardi said. “Your character always kind of fills up your looks, and fashion is a wonderful instrument to emphasize whatever you seek to express.”


The main theme of this season’s Trussardi women’s collection is travel.

One truly damaging way of looking at fashion is isolating oneself from it, indulging in an inferiority complex and seeing it exclusively as the monopoly of the elite, he stressed.

According to Trussardi, just as people are born with a sense for the arts or an ear for music, taste in fashion is something that is inculcated in the family. “A child learns from the older members of the family, and later on, if you take an interest, if you are curious and willing to experiment, your taste will evolve, mature and develop. A lack of taste is not synonymous with contradictions — they can be rather tasteful — bad taste has to do with excess, when one does not know where to stop.”

As for the Trussardi style of dress, balance, spontaneity and grace are key to the brand’s philosophy, which was demonstrated in full in the new collection, which took travel as its main theme and began with the sound of an airplane taking off.

The waist is the object of focus, and the color range is dominated by the brand’s favorites — white, shades of blue and grey — with terracotta, mustard and sienna thrown in.


Tomaso Trussardi, general director for development of the fashion house.

One of Italy’s most venerable fashion houses, and the oldest family dynasty in fashion, Trussardi remains faithful to the Italian nature of the brand.

“It is important to remember that in Italy, as probably nowhere else, fashion is inseparable from art and history of art,” said Trussardi. “This connection has always been precious for Trussardi, and we consider it one of the brand’s signature qualities.”

Trussardi, whose hobbies include philosophy and driving fast, spends most of his spare time inspecting the brand’s shops and making incognito peaks into the stores and ranges of his rivals. He is well aware of the fact that fashion as perhaps no other business requires its managers to sense even the slightest fluctuations in the interests, desires and tastes of people. Outgoing as he may sound, Trussardi offers an unorthodox answer as to where the best places are to feel the pulse of fashion.

“In order for your collections to sell, you need to be aware which ranges sell better, what sort of ideas fascinate audiences and what makes them idiosyncratic,” he began. “Yet, however paradoxical it may sound, when we make a decision about the theme, the tone, the flair of the next collection, what sort of direction we are going to take, this discussion always takes place at home. The decision is made at a family meeting. This is where we can listen to our intuition best, have an open discussion, and then make the right choices.”

Reflecting on the Trussardi Fashion House’s incredible 100 years of being managed by the same family, Trussardi said that the survival of a brand depends directly on choosing the right person to succeed you, and the right time to bring them in. “We have been lucky that we have been able to find all that within our family,” he said. “It is crucial that the manager who comes after you shares your core values and will not betray your ethical code, and is able to take the brand further.”

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