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Ermenegildo Zegna moving 'out of comfort zone'

Ermenegildo Zegna moving 'out of comfort zone'

Ermenegildo Zegna is undergoing a significant shake-up.

The Italian luxury fashion house was founded in 1910 and is now managed by the fourth generation of the Zegna family, with Alessandro Sartori overseeing creative direction for all departments.

Sartori joined the Trivero-based company in his new role this month (Jun16) and will present his first collection in January next year (17) with a runway show.

Accordingly, chief executive officer Gildo Zegna, saw no better time than the present to set in motion a new company model, and is working behind the scenes on developing new retail, marketing and digital strategies.

"I don’t like to use the term revolution, this is more of a disruption," Zegna told WWD. "This is an important change that signals we are out of our comfort zone."

Part of the revamp will focus on innovation, and Zegna claims there is no better man for the job than Sartori, who he thinks is imbuing designs with a sense of "authenticity". Sartori first joined the firm in 1989 and was at the creative helm of Z Zegna for eight years before working for competing design house Berluti.

"Alex (Sartori) is the man that more than any others represents our brand; he was a fabric designer for us in the Nineties," said Zegna. "He brings positive energy, a modern way of thinking, a new strategic vision and is a well-rounded designer, very much in line with my way of thinking."

With regards to business strategy, 60-year-old Zegna emphasises the role of digitalisation and says the brand will be concentrating not only on online offerings but engaging in additional services, such as technology which allows clients to set up appointments and request help with personal styling.

He adds that while the brand doesn't plan on undertaking any major retail store overhauls there will be "small innovations". But the suitmaker is expanding in some regions, particularly the Middle East, with plans for a new store in Tehran later in the year (16).

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