The company was founded in 1910 by Ermenegildo Zegna. At the age of 18 he founded the Lanificio Zegna (wool mill) and what was to become one of Italy’s best known and most dynamic family businesses. He had a dream that he would make, in his own words, ‘the most beautiful fabrics in the world
BUILDING A DREAM
Ermenegildo Zegna founded his wool mill – Lanificio Zegna – in 1910 in the Alpine foothills of Trivero. Today, Zegna fabrics are still one of Italy’s most acclaimed exports.
BUILDING LOCAL INFRASTRUCTURE
Ermenegildo Zegna believed in making the environment better for all. One of his program of works included building the Panoramic Zegna, a road that opened up the beauty of the alpine territory to many.
In the ‘30s, in love with the beauties of nature and deeply rooted in his own land, the textile industrialist launched a program of environmental reclamation around Trivero.
THE TOUCH OF THE HAND
Each piece of fabric is inspected by expert weavers for any imperfections
Ermenegildo’s vision was in many ways ahead of his time: to source the best-quality natural fibers, directly from their country of origin; to innovate in product and production processes; to promote the brand and invest in the environment of his suppliers and workers.
Ermenegildo had a grander vision too, and that was to transform the environment and lives of those around him. By 1932, Trivero already had a meeting hall, a library, a gym, a cinema/theatre and a public swimming pool. In the space of a few years, he built a medical centre and a nursery school. In the meantime, he was dedicating himself to the local environment and landscape, planting thousands of trees and building the “Panoramica Zegna” road a 14 km route linking Trivero and Bielmonte, a tourist resort 1,500 meters above sea level.
By the early 1980s this vision had been realised in a fully vertically-integrated company. Zegna has close control over each part of its supply chain: owning everything from a farm in Australia to mills in Italy, fabric cutting houses in Switzerland through to the boutique stores where its fabrics are sold across the globe.
THE FINEST RAW MATERIALS
Bales of raw wool at the Lanficio Zegna arrive from around the world, sourced from the highest quality pastures
Each generation of the family has been involved in consolidating Ermenegildo Zegna’s vision, ensuring that the name Zegna remains relevant. In 1972 it launched its Made to Measure service. In 1980 Zegna opened its first boutique in Paris. This was followed by shops in London in 1983 and Milan in 1985. When it opened its boutique at the Palace Hotel, Beijing in 1991, it was the first western luxury menswear brand to open a boutique in China, in line with its strategy of entering emerging markets early.
Diversification of the offering, which now ranges from clothing to accessories, accelerated growth, as well as continuing the entrepreneurial spirit shown by Ermenegildo Zegna in the constant desire to improve and look to the future. The group’s two main brands are the Ermenegildo Zegna range and the Z Zegna range, which is aimed at a younger market. The group has developed and patented multiple fabric treatments including Trofeo, High Performance and Elements.
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