MILAN — As leading textile firms in the country have increasingly joined forces to weather the COVID-19 fallout, Lanificio Fratelli Cerruti marked its 140th anniversary with an event celebrating the collaborative spirit.
The storied wool mill based in Biella, Italy — a leading textile district in the country — held an event far away from its hometown’s verdant hills at the premises of Pettinesi, one of its suppliers of merino wool, based in Pettino, a small hamlet nestled in the Apennine mountains of the Umbria region.
It marked an opportunity to celebrate the mill’s rich history since its founding by Antonio Cerruti in 1881. The company made headlines in the 1950s when Nino Cerruti took over the family business and spearheaded its growth by venturing in men’s wear with Hitman first and then with Cerruti 1881, which was then sold to Fin.part to concentrate on textile division.
In 2018, the mill was acquired by London-based fund Njord Partners, which has been investing throughout these years to support growth for the company and lead its sustainable advancements.
“Thanks to this event, a unique experience [discovering] old and beautiful stories made of passion, research and commitment, the Lanificio Fratelli Cerruti retraced its centennial history, which is synonymous with creative luxury, love for our job and connection with our roots, while looking firmly toward the future with hope,” said Filippo Vadda, president and chief executive officer of the mill. The former Loro Piana executive was appointed to the role last year, succeeding Paolo Torello Viera.
The celebration highlighted Cerruti’s commitment to sustainable practices and Made in Italy manufacturing, values that the company shares with its supplier Pettinesi, which has been weaving merino wool for the past seven centuries and nurturing the tradition of breeding the Sopravissana sheep, one of the few remaining Italian merino wool cattle.
“Excellence, passion and sustainability are the qualities linking the two companies under a collaboration in the name of constant commitment to support Italian entrepreneurship and a ‘give back’ approach,” Vadda said.
“Sustainability has always been core to the company, as within our supply chain we embrace a scientific and certified approach to the topic, using natural fibers that are sustainable and circular by definition,” he added.
Touting the company’s achievements and history, the CEO said he’s committed to turn it into the main partner for all fashion brands looking for precious fabrics with a sustainable bent. “We’re convinced that products, environment and a sustainable and ethically responsible mind-set are intertwined elements contributing to achieve a positive impact on the planet, reducing waste and nurturing natural resources,” he offered.
Friends and clients of Lanificio Fratelli Cerruti toured the premises of Pettinesi during the event and had the chance to meet Ciro Pistarino, the tailor founder of Vocative, the first Italian tailoring atelier with sustainable and traceable credentials.
In addition to the namesake textile collections, the Lanificio Fratelli Cerruti company operates the Il Lanificio apparel brand for men and women, available through stores in outlet centers in the north of Italy and Switzerland.
After Njord acquired a majority interest in the textile company, the Cerruti family retained a 20 percent stake.