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Our History

PHILOSOPHY / Our History

Rain, wind, intuition

Places and their atmospheres often inspire ideas. You just have to know how to gather them. Straight after the Second World War, at just 24, young Giuseppe Marenzi was able to seize hold of one of them, inspired by the geography and climate of Lake Maggiore, Lesa and the Erno Valley. Cold, rainy winters and hot summers refreshed by quenching storms give this land luxuriant vegetation and require adequate clothing, to protect against the water and persistent winds. Young Marenzi was employed by a raincoat company and, thanks to his military experience during the war, found ingenious solutions to improve the waterproof nature of the fabrics by using castor oil, a rare asset that he somehow managed to obtain. And so he brought a notable increase in production to the company. Foreseeing that there was room to provide more functional and technically developed coats, Giuseppe Marenzi decided to take a big step: a company all his own.

A factory in the Erno Valley

It was in Lesa, in the Erno valley, that the idea came to life and flourished. Giuseppe Marenzi and his wife Alessandra Diana took over an old plant near the stream which, as a natural source of energy, had been powering the mill since the early 1900s. Here they launched their factory, calling the company Herno in homage to the river, as the venture was inspired by water and the surrounding environment, still a steadfast point of reference in the Herno world today. Giuseppe Marenzi worked hard towards one goal: to provide well-made, functional coats and jackets, resistant to the rain and wind - wind that blows down from the Alps every morning - without sacrificing quality, elegance and Italian style. A challenge that started in this village overlooking a small but elegant bank of Lake Maggiore, the reputation of which would travel with Herno across the ocean.

Passion, taste, vision

As a sports enthusiast, Giuseppe Marenzi poured total dedication and a healthy competitive approach into his work, combined with respect for the human dimension of the athletes who compete to win, producing excellence, increasing work in the area while respecting it, and looking ahead. Raincoats for men and women were the foundations of the first Herno productions. In the 1960s, cashmere coats and double-sided products arrived; followed by jackets, suits and dresses for women. The style, detail and diversification encouraged exports to Europe and beyond. In 1971, Herno was one of the first in Italy to expand into the Japanese market by opening a boutique in Osaka. In the Eighties, it was time for America and the consolidation of the company, which was experiencing its own golden age. Its tailoring skill and craftsmanship, admired by the fashion world’s large emerging brands, brought it to another turning point, producing goods for third-party brands alongside production directly for the Herno name. It was on these parallel lines of production that the Marenzi family worked from the 1990s until the start of the 21st century, preparing the headquarters for a new transformation, which would be cultivated and made to flourish by son Claudio Marenzi.