TRUSSARDI: BUILDING AN AMERICAN PRESENCE

Byline: Janet Ozzard

NEW YORK — Like some pop stars whose following is mostly outside the U.S., Trussardi is huge in Europe and Asia.
The 86-year-old, $481 million Italian company’s name is on leather goods, fragrances such as Trussardi Donna, jeans, home furnishings, children’s wear and eyewear. It has 183 freestanding stores in cities around the world and even has a research center dedicated to improving industrial design.
But the brand is barely represented in the U.S.
That will start to change this spring, with the introduction here of Trussardi Collection, a line of bridge-price sportswear manufactured in Italy and sold worldwide — except for the U.S.
“This is for a woman who knows fashion, but is not caught up in it,” said Shasha Boyd, president of Trussardi’s North American business, in an interview at its headquarters here at 745 Fifth Avenue. Boyd, a veteran of such companies as Carmelo Pomodoro and Adrienne Vittadini, joined Trussardi in February to spearhead its move into the U.S. market.
While the new collection is in the bridge price range, it aims to have the quality of a diffusion or even a designer line. All the fabrics are Italian, as is the manufacturing. Jackets are finished with taped seams and men’s wear lining fabric, and some styles have functional button-holes on the sleeves.
“Because we’re a vertical company, we’re able to provide the price point and the quality to the consumer,” said Boyd.
“Until now, in our brand development, we have some different collections,” said Nicola Trussardi, president and owner of the company his grandfather, Dante Trussardi, founded. “This is a metropolitan collection. In its use of materials, it is approachable in terms of price, but in design and concept, it is similar to the top line, Trussardi Prima. It is made in Italy in our own factories.”
Distribution will be limited to better department stores and specialty stores, he said.
“We want to be in the market with both lines and we will present both collections here,” said Trussardi, adding that his company’s other products are also being promoted more. “The small leather goods, the leather — that is the original start of our company. But this collection represents a new modernity.”
Trussardi said the company is expanding its flagship shop in the center of Milan and will reopen it during fashion week there in October. It is also opening a second boutique in Paris on the Place Vendome at the end of this month.
“These collections are designed with that new sensibility in mind,” said Trussardi.
There are three groups in the Trussardi Collection spring line, each with two deliveries available. Fabrics include stretch, nylon, cotton twill, poplin, jersey, waxed canvas, linen and cotton gauzes and various knits.
Colors are muted, including black, navy, white, brown and khaki, but there are also some light blues and a group of jersey pieces in fuchsia and orange.
And of course, there’s plenty of leather, referring to Trussardi’s roots. There’s thin leather piping on a miniskirt, a white cotton sweater, a cardigan. There are pig suede jackets and coats, suede bikinis and napa leather overcoats.
The line wholesales from $185 to $385 for jackets, $72 to $145 for pants, $65 to $160 for skirts, $72 to $127 for tops, $72 to $147 for knits and $125 to $190 for dresses. Outerwear is $250 to $350. The company is projecting a first-year wholesale volume of $10 million.
An American ad campaign will be part of the company’s global budget, said Boyd.
“We’ll adapt it to the U.S. based on the retailers’ reaction,” said Boyd. She said the firm will also make adjustments for differences in fit in the U.S.
Stores will start to see the line this week, said Boyd, and she’d like to merchandise the Trussardi Collection in in-store shops.
“I think that’s the direction this line should take,” she said.

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