After more than 20 years in the industry, Etienne Russo is at the hem of the production company Villa Eugénie as a premier producer of global fashion shows. He has executed designers' visions for brands including Lanvin, Miu Miu, Céline, Hermès, Dries van Noten and Chanel. Russo’s world-class set designs have generated unmatched levels of social buzz due to their extravagant
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 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 20 years, it has conceived over 800 shows that have garnered international media attention by the likes of Frame Magazine, the Korean and Belgien Vogue, Marie Claire and W Magazine from 2007 to 2018, among others. It has since expanded its practice to the production of fine jewellery, cosmetics and fragrance. Its set design now covers museum scenography, concept stores and private events. With brands such as Y-3, Kenzo, Lanvin Maison Martin Margiela and Hugo Boss in 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.
En route to Tokyo for Dior’s men’s pre-fall 2019 show, Russo and his partner were held in custody in November 2018 for an alleged possession of cannabis, according to Japanese media reports.