MILAN — Tomaso Trussardi is playing an increasing role in his family-owned company — in more ways than one.
First, the young chief executive officer of TRS Evolution, the Trussardi Group company that produces the brand’s first and second lines of clothing and accessories, is streamlining and expanding the apparel and leather goods firm. On top of that, he’s portrayed gazing at Milan’s skyline, leaning from a Gothic spire of the city’s cathedral, in the ad campaign directed by Wim Wenders for Trussardi’s latest perfume, My Land.
“The Trussardi brand is closely associated to Milan, and we clearly are not severing this tie, but we are set on making the label more international,” said Trussardi in his art- and book-filled office at the Trussardi Alla Scala palazzo overlooking the iconic theater.
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The affable and soft-spoken executive, who took on his role in April 2011, has a four-year plan to grow revenues to 230 million euros, or $304 million at current exchange rates, from 160 million euros, or $211.4 million, last year. “This is the minimum volume required to be part of that cluster of brands that are considered international,” he said. “A beautiful product is a prerequisite, but the main challenge is to create a coolness of the brand that will support business.”
To this end, he has folded the Trussardi Jeans line into Tru Trussardi, a bridge and casualwear line launched in 2005, and raised its fashion and quality content under the creative direction of his younger sister, Gaia. The first new collection will launch for fall. Their sister Beatrice is president and ceo of Trussardi.
“I think there is room in the market for Tru Trussardi, but the segmentation of too many different lines is an old concept, and luxury is not segmented,” said Trussardi.
He noted that the company’s jeans, produced in-house in Modena, Italy, have always been a strong category for the house, selling a yearly average of 700,000 pairs.
“Our jeans line was positioned in the diffusion range in terms of price and points of sale. Within Tru Trussardi, 30 or 40 percent of sales are derived from jeans,” he said. “We could not upgrade our Tru Trussardi line as the Trussardi Jeans collection was placed in a lower range. ‘One brand, one company, two labels’ is our new motto.”
This also allows the company to be less reliant on local wholesalers, who are struggling in a tough economy, and a more rationalized distribution in its own Tru Trussardi stores. “We are studying new personalized washes and introducing new categories such as men’s suits, for example, so that the line is less of a diffusion one,” he said. These would retail between 550 and 750 euros, or $727 and $991.
Leather, a core business for Trussardi, is produced in Incisa, in the Tuscan leather goods hub. A motorcycle jacket retails at around 450 euros, or $595.
There are 142 Tru stores. This includes 31 Trussardi Jeans units, which will be converted to Tru stores by September.
Trussardi said the family has no plans to explore a public listing. “We finance ourselves and have no debt, and there is no generational change,” he said.
The young executive is the son of the late Nicola Trussardi, who reshaped the family business he had inherited from his father, Dante, a craftsman and glove-maker.