Ermenegildo Zegna: Unsurpassed Style
Ermenegildo Zegna is one of those rare things in the fashion industry: a family-run house that’s been in the business for a long time. In this case, four generations of Zegnas have overseen the progress of this brand. Their best known creations are their fine suits, and in addition to making them under their own label, Ermenegildo Zegna has also made suits for Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci as well. In collaboration with Estee Lauder, the brand also makes fragrances and cosmetics.
A Family Business
Ermenegildo Zegna established his fashion house in Trivero, Italy, in 1910, producing men’s suits from the finest quality wool. Aside from being known for excellent suits, the Zegna family is still known today, more than a century later, for its excellent wool, as well. By 1938, the Zegna Wool employed more than 1,000 people.
The business was so successful that the wool suits even found popularity in the United States. Unfortunately, by that time, first the Great Depression, then the Second World War made the suits too expensive for most people to purchase. Ermanegildo’s sons, Aldo and Angelo, became part of the family business in 1942, helping in any way they could.
When Ermenegildo passed away in 1966, his sons became the owners, and they expanded business further, opening a factory in Spain, then in Switzerland. By the early 21st century, there are eight Zegna factories in the world, allowing men to buy Zegna suits off the rack, as well as tailor-made.
The first Zegna boutique opened in 1980 at one of the world’s fashion capitals, Paris. Thirty years later, there were more than 500 stores bearing the Zegna name, at least one in most major cities around the world. Today, they are more than just suits. They are ties, shirts, knitwear, accessories, and fragrances.
Ermenegildo Zegna Fragrances
Essenza di Zegna (Essence of Zegna) was launched in 2003. This is a modern fragrance with a fairly traditional composition. It opens with lemon and bergamot; the heart is cardamom and myrtle; the base is composed from musk and amber.
The second Zegna fragrance went for a different tone – modern, youthful, and more nuanced. The bottle is simple and practical, to show it’s something for the active man. It opens with bright and fruity tones of yellow Mirabelle plums, bergamot, and Casoar fruit, with a note of rosemary.
Middle notes of nutmeg, iris, and white pepper give it a certain zest, which is the perfect lead to its finish: patchouli, musk, cashmere wood, and oak moss.
Z Zegna Extreme is a bolder iteration of the Z Zegna line of fragrances. It opens with tart grapefruit and mandarin orange. The heart is rose and cardamom with a undertone of gin for that hint of forbidden mysteries. Warm notes of musk, cashmere wood, vetiver, and patchouli comprise the base.
A relatively recent introduction, launched in 2010, is Zegna Forte, a commemoration of 100 years of Zegna’s work. This intensely masculine fragrance opens with standard grapefruit and lemon, but the notes of pink pepper and ginger mixed within are already a sign that this will be a new experience entirely. The middle notes are seductive and smoky: white tobacco and lavender honey – warm, sweet, and smooth. The base enfolds those who experience it the scents of amber, tonka, and woody tones.
Like everything else to come out of a century of Zegna products, these fragrances have a certain refined quality, a level of elegance that few can match, even when at its most casual.
The Prestige of Zegna
For one hundred years, Zegna has been involved in every step of the process when it comes to its suits. When Ermenegildo Zegna established his suit-making business in 1910, he also built the Zegna Wool Mill, which still produces the fabric that makes Zegna suits. Even today, the Zegna Wool Mill is one of the biggest producers of wool in the world today, producing millions of meters of fabric. Just as they are in the realm of fashion, Zegna is also a leading force in the world of wool production.
Today, there are hundreds of boutiques, most of which can be found in the United States, Japan, Europe and China, but there are also stores in Australia, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Bogota, Ulaanbaatar, Bangkok, New Delhi, Santiago de Chile, and Lima, just to name a few in scattered locations across the globe.
A suit made by the House of Ermenegildo Zegna is a mark of high style, whether made-to-order and perfectly measured, or bought off the rack at one of their many fine points of sale. This family owned business can be summed up in one word: quality.