A fashion mogul wise beyond his years

Updated: 2012-12-27 11:21

By Xu Junqian in Shanghai (China Daily)

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Heir to Trussardi family business looks to expand on back of Chinese luxury demand

Despite becoming the chief executive officer of a century-old Italian luxury house at the mere age of 29, Tomaso Trussardi thinks he is "old" and "sophisticated" enough for the position.

A fashion mogul wise beyond his years

A Trussardi shop in Ningbo, Zhejiang province. Zhang Peijian / For China Daily

"I was born into this company. The skill of CEO is something in my DNA, and I have learned to be a CEO since I came into this world," said Tomaso Trussardi, a fourth-generation descendant of Dante Trussardi, the founder of the Trussardi Group, a multi-million dollar Italian luxury company that produces clothing and accessories.

Tomaso Trussardi's forefathers, especially his father - Nicola Trussardi - turned a small glove-making business established in 1911 in Bergamo into a brand adored by British royalty and European fashionistas. After his father and elder brother died in separate car crashes, Tomaso Trussardi took the helm of the family business, and has since decided to write a new chapter for the brand in Shanghai.

A fashion mogul wise beyond his years

Tomaso Trussardi, CEO of Trussardi Group. Provided to China Daily

His first step toward that end has been to open a leather fashion house on the Bund, a famous tourist destination in Shanghai. To many, the decision has evoked memories of a similar operation his father, a trendsetter in Italy, started in Milan in 1976.

"We want to grow," Tomaso Trussardi said. "We are growing at a double-digit rate in every market. And speaking of growing, since Europe is in recession and there is little market share for us in America, we would like to focus on China."

He said China is one of the company's fastest-growing markets.

Even though the international consulting firms Bain & Co and McKinsey & Co have both said the Chinese market for luxury products expanded at a slower pace this year and will continue to do so in the coming couple of years, China's demand for luxury goods remains strong.

Bain predicted the market will show a meager 7 percent year-on-year expansion in 2012, while McKinsey suggested the rate would be between 12 and 16 percent for the next three years, down from 18 percent last year.

According to a recent report on luxuries by McKinsey, more than a third of the money spent in the world by 2015 on luxury bags, shoes, watches and clothing will come from Chinese consumers - both in and outside the Chinese mainland.

Trussardi's new flagship store in Shanghai, the first one in the Chinese mainland and the fifth in the world, is housed in a prestigious building on the Bund.

Its two floors occupy 400 square meters of space and present a decorative facade that the company believes will present "a chic look and perfectly interpret Trussardi luxury".

"It is a completely different one from other stores in European cities," said Tomaso Trussardi. "The exterior design of this store is brand-new, a work of Michael Young, an internationally renowned designer. And we have given our greyhound logo a tri-dimensional look only for this store."

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