We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know members of our Home Office Team, and this month you’re in for a treat! We got the inside scoop from our Executive Creative Director, Daniele Trussardi—from why he left Italy (and his mother’s unbeatable lasagna), to how he has perfected the art of pliés. Spoiler alert! He would have been a ballet dancer if it weren’t for his impeccable fashion sense and eye for photography. Speaking of fashion, you’ll never guess what piece from the Fall 2018 Collection he loves to mix into his wardrobe. Without further ado, we bring you the inimitable Daniele Trussardi!
Juniper: I’m so excited today because we’re here with a fan favorite, Daniele Trussardi, our Executive Creative Director. So, let’s get to know him a little. Daniele, tell us, what is the Executive Creative Director?
Daniele: As Executive Creative Director, I get to oversee everything that is visual and creative within the marketing department. So, all your catalogs, all the videos, all the social media, all the websites. Even the look and feel of the events. Everything that has a visual element to it, I make sure that it’s within the cabi aesthetic guidelines.
Juniper: He has a creative hand in everything. And how long have you been here at cabi?
Daniele: I think I’ve been here for almost six years.
Juniper: What were you doing before cabi?
Daniele: Before cabi, I was for several years at Ann Taylor. And before then I was in an advertising agency doing Gap and Nautica. I was for 18 issues the Art Director of Interview Magazine and I did a few Victoria’s Secret catalogs. And I’ve been in another advertising agency doing art direction for Calvin Klein and Max Mara, and now I’m at cabi.
Juniper: You may have noticed Daniele has a slight accent. So, where are you from originally?
Daniele: I was born and raised in Italy, and I moved to this Country already as a grown up, at 26. So, unfortunately, the accent is going to be part of me, and the broken English is going to be with me for the rest of my life.
Juniper: Well, I think everybody can agree we love your accent, so it’s all good.
Daniele: That’s very kind, thank you.
Juniper: But so, how did you decide to move to America?
Daniele: I moved to America because I finished my college education. I got my Master in Italy, and I was pursuing a career in fashion advertising. And despite all the fashion that the Italians are famous for, they all come to United States to execute their campaigns. So, I was like, I guess if I want to work in fashion advertising, I have to move to United States.
Juniper: And so, first you were in New York. And then you came out to California to join our team.
Daniele: I was 15 years in New York, and then for the past almost six years in California.
Juniper: And a few years ago, you had something very exciting happen. Became a citizen.
Daniele: Oh, yes. After 15 years in this country, I was actually able to get my citizenship, so now I’m an American citizen. I’m a naturalized American citizen.
Juniper: We’re going to ask you just a few fun, silly questions to get to know you. Coffee or tea?
Daniele: Coffee. Large quantities of coffee.
Juniper: Daniele has a one-year-old, so he’s catching up on a lot of sleep now that he’s sleeping through the night.
Daniele: Exactly. My one-year-old is letting me sleep.
Juniper: And he’s super cute.
Daniele: He is. [Laughs] He got it from me.
Juniper: What’s your go-to ice cream flavor?
Daniele: There’s this Italian brand called Grom. They have a store in New York. I think they actually have one in Los Angeles, too. And there is a flavor called Crema di Grom that is phenomenal. You should try it.
Juniper: Yum. What’s your all-time favorite food?
Daniele: I have to say lasagna is still my all-time favorite food, but nobody can make it as well as my mother. So, I can only eat it like once a year when I go to see my mom in Italy.
Juniper: I had to ask the Italian that question. Do you do karaoke?
Daniele: I don’t do karaoke, but I’m a great backup dancer and a background singer.
Juniper: Yes. Truth. I can attest to that. Okay, what’s your favorite movie or the movie that makes you laugh or cry every time you watch it?
Daniele: Oh, I can’t come up with any. But I know my go-to relaxing movies, which are Mean Girls and Legally Blonde. I actually can quote a few passages from those movies, both of them. But those are my movies when I want to zone out and have a good time.
Juniper: What’s your go-to line that you quote from Mean Girls?
Daniele: “Stop trying to make fetchhappen.”
Juniper: What about Legally Blonde?
Daniele: Legally Blonde. Well, Legally Blonde, who can forget the bend and snap? Actually, I think I have a PhD in bend and snap. [Laughs]
Juniper: What is your must-have beauty or grooming product?
Daniele: I would recommend everyone to sleep at least eight hours every night. And I use a lot of wax for my hair. And I exfoliate a ton. So, those are probably my three grooming advices: sleep, exfoliation, wax. Oh, and sunscreen, too.
Juniper: And you’re totally getting eight hours every night, right?
Daniele: Absolutely not. Actually, I have to correct myself. Lately, my son has been sleeping anywhere between 11 to 12 hours every night, so I’m actually catching up for all the hours that he didn’t let me sleep when he was a baby.
Juniper: What do you do to relieve stress?
Daniele: To relieve stress, I like to get massages. I like to drink a glass of wine, maybe two. One is enough. Yes, those are my two things. Actually, if I can combine both of them, if I can combine a glass of wine with a massage, bingo.
Juniper: Let’s see. What was your first job?
Daniele: When I was a kid, I was tutoring other kids in my neighborhood. And I was also babysitting the younger ones. But then my actual real first job with a real boss was when I was waiting tables in high school.
Juniper: Nice. And if this wasn’t your job, what do you think you’d be doing, besides being a background dancer?
Daniele: I would have loved to be a teacher. Well, my secret dream was always being a ballet dancer, but my parents didn’t think that was going to be a very successful career for me, so they nudged me to focus on my studies.
Juniper: Well, we can have dance breaks here at the office any time you want.
Daniele: [Laughs] I do beautiful pliés, and I know all the positions of the feet.
Juniper: [Laughs] Okay, you’re obviously very stylish, so who would you say is your style icon? Or do you have a favorite decade or trend?
Daniele: I think my style icon, actually, my style expression has been my mother. Not that she inspires the way I dress, but every time I choose an outfit in the morning, I would think like, would my mother approve what I’m wearing today? She’s a very classic woman, and so I think that she taught me the ABCs of well dressing and being stylish.
Juniper: And she made a cameo in one of our campaigns, didn’t she?
Daniele: She did. A spring photoshoot from a few years ago in Capri. She was one of the extras that I “hired” for our photoshoot. And for the other part of your question, I think that right now it’s an exciting time for fashion. Anything goes. It’s just about attitude and how you pull any look off. And so, I think that you gals can experiment with anything you want because this is the time to have fun.
Juniper: So, speaking of fashion, what is your favorite fall cabi piece?
Daniele: I had a great time shooting the entire Collection, and I can tell you that this season is incredibly versatile, and it works beautifully on everybody, but one of the items…one of the items in particular that I was impressed by its performance actually was the Performance Dress because it looked good on everybody. Different body types, different ages, everybody looked fantastic in the Performance Dress. And I own the Leopard Scarf that I try to use whenever I can to spice up my wardrobe.
Juniper: It looks pretty good on you, too.
Daniele: Thank you.
Juniper: Very stylish. If you could have dinner with anyone or spend a day with anyone, who would it be?
Daniele: If I could spend any quality time with people from the past, or the present, or the future, it would be Jesus, Muhammad, and the Buddha because I think that would be a very fascinating conversation, and I think that they’d get along beautifully and they’d have the same loving message for the entire world.
Juniper: If you could switch places with anyone for a day, who would it be?
Daniele: That would be the President of United States.
Juniper: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
Daniele: I always wanted to go to India. I never had the chance, and I want to do it the right way. I would like to get there on the Orient Express. I always wanted to travel Asia in style and in luxury and explore a lot of beautiful places. But I have only explored a little bit of China and a little bit of Japan so far.
Juniper: What’s one thing you can’t live without?
Daniele: I cannot live without chocolate. And coffee. Chocolate and coffee go together. And they neutralize each other’s calories. [Laughs]
Juniper: So if you have chocolate with coffee, it doesn’t count.
Daniele: [Laughs] Black coffee with no sugar and chocolate, dark chocolate, they don’t count as calories. The coffee neutralizes the chocolate. It’s proven, it’s scientific…I have decided so.
Juniper: You heard it here first, ladies. Have all the chocolate you want as long as you have black coffee with it. Do you have any special skills?
Daniele: I can twirl a baton.
Juniper: What’s something that most people don’t know about you?
Daniele: A lot of people still don’t know that I’m a father. Since we adopted our son like a year ago when he was born. And they still cannot pair the idea of Daniele being a father.
Juniper: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Daniele: I was very lucky to get a couple pieces of advice. One is that if something goes wrong in your life, 99 percent of the time it’s your own fault, so stop whining, roll up your sleeves, and make a change. And the other great advice that I got when I was young was that success is when preparation meets opportunity. So that’s what I hopefully am going to teach to my son—to be prepared for when opportunity comes because that’s going to make him successful.
Juniper: How would your friends describe you?
Daniele: I think my friends would describe me as a jokester and funny. They like to make fun of my accent. And I totally play along with that.
Juniper: What advice would you give your younger self?
Daniele: To my younger self, I would probably tell him…Daniele, relax, enjoy life a little bit more, and maybe try to invest more time in having a family a little bit younger so that you can pick up your son without having your back hurting.
Juniper: What’s a cherished memory that you have?
Daniele: Cherished memory. Cherished memory. Very recently, and I’m skipping through the birth of my son or anything like that, but, having my mom at Scoop more recently was incredibly emotional for me—to finally get to see her in the crowd and finally for her to see what I get to experience every six months at Scoop: it was pretty incredible and something that I’m going to remember for the rest of my life.
Juniper: That’s so sweet. What was your favorite family vacation?
Daniele: My favorite family vacation is actually in the seaside. In an area on the Liguria Coast between Genoa and France, somewhere near San Remo. My rich aunt had a beautiful house and my parents would take me there for two weeks every summer, and so now I have some really wonderful memories of the time spent together with my family in this house on the ocean.
Juniper: If your life was a movie, what would the title be?
Daniele: If my life was a movie, it probably would be Life is Beautiful—just for the title, not for the sadness of the story. Life can be really challenging, but you should find the beautiful silver lining in all the challenges that you have to face in your life.
Juniper: Nice. If you could have any superpower what would it be?
Daniele: I don’t know the word in English. In Italian, it’s il dono dell’ubiquità, so I’m going to try to translate it as “the gift of ubiquity.” It’s the gift of being anywhere you want to be at the same time. So, I could be here with you, speaking to you right now, but at the same time, I could be in Africa, or I could be back in Europe with my family. So, all at the same time and fully present.
Juniper: Okay, final question. What have you loved most about working here at cabi?
Daniele: I love a lot of things about working at cabi. But what I’m mostly excited about is that I get to work with an incredibly talented group of people, incredibly professional, and all of them very gifted. I also love that no opinion is a bad opinion. Everybody can speak up their minds here, and if you have a great idea everybody tags along for the ride, and we make it happen. So, it’s pretty unique to have a company that works so efficiently, and so beautifully, and with such an amazing group of talents.
Juniper: Awesome. Thank you so much for spending your time with us today.
Daniele: And thank you. It was a pleasure, and you should come and visit more often.
We absolutely adore the creativity and excitement that Daniele brings to the cabi Home Office! If you had the chance to join Daniele for dinner, what would be the first question you would love to ask him?