MILAN — The house of Trussardi is now in the hands of Beatrice.

This story first appeared in the March 5, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

A month after the death of her brother Francesco in a car accident, Beatrice Trussardi said Monday that she would take the helm.

“The company has always been in the family — for almost 100 years — and it will continue to be,” she told a small number of journalists at the company’s headquarters at Palazzo Marino. “I will represent the family from now on, becoming the company’s new president, a post formerly held by my brother Francesco.”

Beatrice Trussardi had been in charge of product, image and communication. She said that neither of her other siblings, Gaia and Tomaso, will join the company any time soon, since they are both engaged with their studies. Trussardi said her mother, Maria Luisa, will not be returning to the company, silencing voices about her coming back to support her daughter.

Matteo Felli, general manager, was promoted to chief executive officer, a post also held by Francesco Trussardi. “Matteo Felli has been active in the definition of our strategies,” said Trussardi.

Since the death of their father, Nicola, also in a car crash four years ago, Beatrice and Francesco Trussardi had streamlined the company and created a management base; delisted Rotondi Evolution, which controlled production of the company’s second lines; focused strategies, and renovated brand stores, counting on a $2 million cash liquidity. In January, the company signed a license with Vestimenta to help expand its men’s wear division. In 2002, Trussardi registered sales of $118 million, up 3 percent from the previous year, with licenses accounting for $80 million.

Trussardi reiterated that the company is now focused on the core leather goods business and on research and development of new materials. The company has experimented with machine-washable napa. It is also expanding in Russia and China, where it will open five stores this spring.

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