Nino Cerruti was born in 1930 in Biella, a city in the Piedmonte region of Italy. After his father's death in 1950, Cerruti took over the family textile mill business. At only 20 years old, Nino introduced modern techniques that proved so successful, the operation expanded to two additional factories.
He decided to move on to clothing production in 1957, launching his first menswear collection entitled Hitman. This collection was considered revolutionary at the time, leading to a new menswear line in 1967 and a collection for women one year later.
Cerruti launched the Cerruti 1881 brand in 1967 by opening his first boutique in Place de la Madeleine in Paris. Over the years, the company continued producing clothing for both men and women, making a name for itself with its fine wool suits. In his early career, Giorgio Armani designed for both the Hitman and the Cerruti labels, and the Cerruti brand became known for its elegant fabrics and cuts.
In 1978, Cerruti began to produce fine fragrances. The first fragrance, Nino Cerruti pour Homme, was designed for men, while the first women's scent, Nino Cerruti Pour Femme, was released in 1987.
Though Nino Cerruti retired from his fashion house in 2000, he continued producing fragrances under the Cerruti and Cerruti 1881 brands. Other fragrances in the Cerruti collection have been made in collaboration with perfumers such as Claire Cain, Aurelien Guichard, Michel Girard and Beatrice Piquet.