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It’s been a season of change for the brand formerly known as Ermenegildo Zegna, which went public on Dec. 20, 2021, a rarity for an Italian fashion house, let alone one founded in 1910. With the listing on the New York Stock Exchange (traded as ZGN) came a new attitude as the house consolidated its three lines (Ermenegildo Zegna, Zegna Couture and sportswear label Z Zegna) into a single luxury collection with the Zegna moniker and a revamped logo.
Under the stewardship of creative director Alessandro Sartori, who rejoined the company in 2016 after a five-year stint at Berluti, now comes a new Red Carpet Collection. Arriving in time for awards season, the collection comprises 20 outfits and some 100 pieces, including accessories and shoes. Beyond tuxedos, dinner jackets and a lux cashmere cape coat, it also features relaxed formalwear like a dusty pink set and suave turtlenecks that Sartori says speak to the shift in how people are dressing these days amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
” ‘Comfort’ became the key word in fashion,” explains Sartori during an interview with THR in the VIP space of Zegna’s Rodeo Drive boutique, noting that the brand listened to its customers and tailored designs and fabrics (more knitwear, jersey and cashmere) to the new normal. That shift — also a boom for Zegna’s bottom line as leisurewear accounted for 50 percent of its sales in 2021 — is reflected in the pieces that still feature the expert tailoring Zegna is known for, but with new silhouettes and fabrics that can more easily shift from day to night or from the awards show to the afterparty.
During the course of an event, “some of the traditional pieces can feel too rigid,” offers Sartori, emphasizing the lightness and wearability of the new pieces, which are available now for VIPs and will be in stores Sept. 23. “That’s why we’re evolving the classic red carpet outfit and adding elements.”
Sartori also is passionate about the house’s commitment to eco-conscious production and traceable cashmere (meaning that it’s responsibly sourced) as well as Zegna’s made-to-measure operations, noting that the house can design anything custom for clients and ship worldwide in four weeks “door-to-door.” Speaking of clients, Zegna always has had strong ties in Hollywood with a roster of friends of the brand that has included Javier Bardem, Mahershala Ali, Daniel Brühl and Adrien Brody.
Sartori also tells THR that Zegna (which also owns Thom Browne) will be departing its current address at 337 N. Rodeo Drive, home for nearly a decade, for a remodeled space up the block on Rodeo near Saint Laurent.
Sartori says the new digs will be “warmer but in a light way with a beautiful lounge area,” all featuring Italian furniture and decor “with a new and exclusive facade” that takes inspiration from the weaving of fabrics. Plans have been underway for more than a year, and he expects the new Rodeo boutique to open in June.
“Los Angeles is one of the cities where we wanted to put this new concept on display as soon as possible,” explains Sartori, who started his career at Ermenegildo Zegna in 1989 before being elevated to run Z Zegna from 2003 to 2011. “And we love the street.”
When the shop opens, the house’s transformation will be complete. “The new branding, the logo, the collection, the silhouettes and the store design — boom,” Sartori says, snapping his fingers. “Everything has arrived at the level of speed, traction and quality that we want. This is what the Zegna of today is about.”
This story first appeared in the Jan. 5 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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