Ermenegilgo Zegna celebrate 50 years of Ready To Wear
And what a celebration it looks set to be.
For fashion fans, it seems hard to think of a world without Ermenegilgo Zegna and their classic take on tailoring but what you might be surprised to learn is that this year marks just 50 years since the famed Italian brand stepped into ready-to-wear.
In 1968, Ermenegilgo Zegna’s sons, Angelo and Aldo, sensing the changes going on around them within Italian society and on the fashion scene, decided to expand their family business. Already hugely successful as a high-end menswear fabric line, the brothers called on the expertise of the likes of famed editors and photographers including Alfa Castaldi and Oliviero Toscani to create a whole new Zegna.
Keeping the brand’s core values of everyday splendour, a new wave of creativity and innovation took the brand to heady new heights, and most importantly, towards what we know today.
But it wasn’t just moving to read-to-wear that solidified the brand as a leader in the fashion world, proving themselves to be one step ahead of the curve, Angelo and Aldo sensed the world moving away from the one-size fits all method and thanks to their background in high-quality tailoring, devised a system that focused on fit and wearability. Taking body types and tastes as well as individual sensibilities into account, they created three different jacket proportions – GR22, GR33 and GR 44 which were not only best suited to each wearer, but also, like in women’s fashion, were cleverly fitted to soften any flaws and highlight the wearers best features.
“Zegna entered the ready to wear clothing industry at a time when the Fordist model of the modern clothing factory was at its maximum development and already heading for crisis. The new need was to create more sophisticated products - well reflected by the issues of fashion entering the masculine realm and consumers were demanding even more diversified goods” explains Mario Lupano, professor at IUAV University of Venice.
So now, 50 years on and with an empire that spans ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories, Zegna are celebrating with a specially curated exhibition where Ermenegilgo Zegna opened his very first wool mill in 1910, at Casa Zegna in Trivero, Italy.
Open every Sunday until October, the exhibition takes you on a stunning visual journey discovering the brand as it was, and what it is now. Painstakingly put together by the brand and fashion historians, key pieces from the archives have been unearthed as well as vintage textiles and photographs.
For more on the exhibition, see here.