Nino Cerruti touched down in Shanghai Wednesday night to celebrate the fact that Cerruti is about to open its 100th store in China. The demure dinner party drew a smattering of Shanghai socialites and management from Trinity Limited, Cerruti’s Chinese licensee and a part of Li & Fung Group. A group of Chinese designers, including Masha Ma, Chris Zhang and Han Feng, also turned up.

The 100th Cerruti boutique, which will open later this month, will be located in the city of Shenzhen.

“If you want to be good in fashion, you have to be very close to life,” he said during a roundtable discussion. “Work in fashion that forgets the life around you becomes very abstract and competitive. Fashion is never a pure technical experience. It is also a life experience.”

Nino Cerruti sold his fashion house to an Italian industrial group back in 2000 and it has seen a revolving door of owners and designers ever since. Private equity firm MatlinPatterson bought the business in 2006 and there is widespread speculation that Trinity is preparing to buy the brand. Trinity has declined to comment on the rumors and Cerruti president Florent Perrichon cancelled a planned interview at the last minute, citing scheduling conflicts.

When asked about a potential deal, Nino Cerruti divorced himself from the situation. “When it comes to this subject, I am totally stupid,” he quipped. “I am not the person you have to ask.”

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