Italian fashion pioneer Nino Cerruti dies aged 91

Pioneering Italian fashion designer Nino Cerruti has died at the age of 91, AFP reports.

Cerruti, who dressed many a Hollywood star in his heyday, introduced “casual chic” into men’s fashion when he created the first deconstructed jacket in the 1970s.

He died at the Vercelli hospital in the northwest region of Piedmont, where he had been admitted for a hip operation, the Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported on its website.

Cerruti was one of the leading figures in men’s ready-to-wear fashion in the 20th century, with a look that was at once stylish and relaxed.

“I want men more free in their elegance, more elegant in their freedom,” he once said.

Cerruti always insisted he be the first to try on his creations, many of which he kept stored away at the woollen mill his grandfather founded in the northern town of Biella in 1881.

“I have always dressed the same person — myself,” he once said.

Born in 1930 in Biella, Cerruti dreamt of becoming a journalist.

But after his father died when he was 20, he was forced to give up his philosophy studies to take over the family textile factory.

In the 1960s, he met Giorgio Armani and hired him as a creator of men’s fashion.

The duo made a profound mark on the world of fashion, before Armani branched out with his own fashion house in 1975.

In the ’80s, he branched out into Hollywood, designing clothes for stars including Jack Nicholson, Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks.

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