After more than 25 years in the industry, Etienne Russo is at the helm of the production company Villa Eugénie as a premier producer of global fashion shows and events. He has executed designers' visions for brands including Hermès, Dries Van Noten and Chanel. Russo’s world-class set designs have generated unmatched levels of social buzz.
Russo’s career began when he worked at high-end restaurants, after attending the Belgian école hôtelière, to which he accredits his rigour and precise approach to design. A few years later, Russo swapped the culinary industry for the fashion industry upon meeting the Antwerp Six — a collective of designers who notably put the Belgian city of Antwerp on the fashion map in the early 1980s. Modelling for in his friend Dries Van Noten’s first runway show, he quickly discovered an affinity for production, eventually trying his hand at designing the Paris set in 1991. The project would spur their long-standing relationship, resulting in Russo producing every Dries Van Noten's show to follow. Subsequently, a short stint working in Brussels’ nightlife scene as an artistic director in Mirano informed Russo’s entertainment and showmanship skills.
The Villa Eugénie company is situated in Brussels, Paris and New York. Over the past 25 years, it has conceived over 1000 shows and events that have garnered international media attention. It has since expanded its practice to productions for the fine jewellery, cosmetics and fragrance industries. Its set design now covers museum scenography, concept stores and private events. With brands such as Givenchy, Hugo Boss and Moncler on its roster, the company has quickly risen to prominence known for its extravagant runway productions. Russo’s creative vision is primarily informed by the arts, collaborating with contemporary artists such as the dancer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and Daniel Arsham on installation designs that border fantasy worlds.