When it comes to formal elegance, Ermenegildo Zegna is one of those handful of brands, whose names are absolutely synonymous with the dress code. Since 1910, Ermenegildo Zegna has been an Italian luxury fashion house that has found its raison d’etre in dressing men and shaping personal styles; at first through made to measure offerings where from button hole to collar, an entire look is built around your desires, your body and your lifestyle. Eventually, they embraced ready-to-wear, expanded their collections beyond men’s suits and tailoring, quickly earning one of the world’s last remaining family owned luxury clothing companies into the biggest menswear brand in the world by revenue.
Inheriting his father’s looms and assets, Ermenegildo grew the company rapidly, employing 1400 workers by 1955. His sons, Aldo and Angelo, joined the business in 1942, eventually taking over the reigns of the company in 1966 upon the passing of their father and its telling that the familial gene for business acumen was just as strong in Ermenegildo’s scions. By 1968, Zegna had formed the foundation of what looks like Ermenegildo Zegna today, they launched a line of ready-to-wear men’s suits produced in Zegna’s factory in Novara. Following this, they launched a knitwear line, a casual wear line, and then an accessories line. By the 80s, Zegna had flagships in 18 countries.
The makings of the largest menswear brand in the world is one half business acumen, the other half, is somewhat more intangible – vision and creativity. Something which Italian designer Alessandro Sartori has in spades. In 2003, he became creative director of the newly created “Z Zegna” at Ermenegildo Zegna, 13 years later, he assumed became the group’s Artistic Director, thus to say that he was instrumental in growing Zegna brand to encompass almost every facet of men’s style and lifestyle is not hyperbole but fact.
From accessories to Z Zegna Formalwear, Ermenegildo Zegna embraces every touchpoint in a gentleman’s life (yes, even the day he decides to buy a Maserati sportscar) in and out of the office. Yes, even casualwear can be Made-to-Measure at Zegna, a tailoring philosophy that has been the brand’s core since its founding. Without doubt, it’s hard to imagine how rooted a brand can be in its heritage and core values but it gets easier when you start to discern the heart of Zegna.
To do that, all one needs to do, is to look at Pelletessuta™ – a line featuring innovative, unique leather fabric created and developed exclusively by Ermenegildo Zegna inspired by the brand’s foundational textile heritage. Extremely thin nappa leather yarns are masterfully woven on a loom replicating the traditional method of cloth weaving. The result is a premium leather fabric recalling the soft, lightweight feel of cashmere, could anyone else envision the humble loom being used in the world of leather?
Even Streetwear, a fashion concept as far removed from a gentlemen’s haberdasher as can be has been addressed competently so within the confines of Zegna’s aesthetic codes and values. The Claudio, inspired by the worlds of streetwear and luxury craftsmanship together: the hand-threaded lace evokes the looms that define Zegna’s DNA.
Rather than use a third party leather-goods maker and simply emblazon a logo, the House of Zegna would rather look into its traditional weaving techniques and find applications for it a new frontier, this is but one of many reasons why Zegna is the largest menswear brand in the world.
You look like a million bucks in Zegna, regardless of dress code, because the House, as envisioned by Sartori, has spent millions of dollars in research and development, perfecting the Zegna look regardless of who you are and whatever your lifestyle. You’re still you, simply the best of you.