Ermenegildo Zegna or Zegna is an Italian fashion house that claims to be the world leader in fine men's clothing. Founded in 1910, it is now managed by the fourth generation of the Zegna family and remains in family ownership.
As well as producing suits for their own labels, they manufacture suits for labels such as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Tom Ford. Conversely YSL Beauté markets a fragrance called ESSENZA DI Zegna, and Zegna have been expanding into accessories and leather goods.
As one of the biggest global producers of fine fabrics (2,3 million metres per year), they have been active in promoting improvements in wool production around the world.
Ermenegildo Zegna founded the company in 1910 in Trivero in the Biellese Prealps. Zegna quickly gained a reputation for producing fine quality wool suits, and by the end of the 1930s, the outfitter employed 1,000 workers. 1938 saw the first sales in the United States, although exports were not helped by high prices and the privations of war.
When Ermenegildo's sons Aldo (born 1920) and Angelo (born 1924) joined the company in 1942, it was renamed Ermenegildo Zegna and Sons. By 1955, the company employed 1,400 workers.
Ermenegildo died in 1966 at the age of 74. Aldo and Angelo took over the business and two years later they launched a line of ready-made suits, produced in Zegna's factory in Novara.
Another factory was opened in Spain in 1973, and another in Greece in 1975. The Greek plant closed after two years, however, because it was deemed unprofitable. A Zegna plant opened in Switzerland in 1977, which today employs about 900 workers. As of 1999, the Zegna Group had eight manufacturing plants in Italy, two in Spain, three in Switzerland, one in Mexico and one in Turkey.
While many Zegna suits are factory produced, the majority of premium suits are still made-to-measure.
The first boutique was opened in Paris in 1980, followed by Milan in 1985. In 2007 their numbers had grown to 525 boutiques of which 252 controlled by the company, Ermenegildo Zegna Zegna's flagship boutique locations are mostly found in the United States, Europe, Japan and China with megastores in New York City, Beverly Hills, Boston, London, Milan, Paris, Madrid, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai,
Aldo died in 2000, but Angelo remains the Honorary President of the company. Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody advertised Zegna's Spring/Summer 2003 and Fall/Winter 2003 lines.
Zegna's range includes fabrics, suits, neckties, knitwear, shirts, accessories and sportswear.
Ermenegildo Zegna has a yearly output of over 2,3 million meters of fabric, 600,000 sleeve units suits, 1,6 million pieces of sportswear and 1,7 million textile accessories. Zegna employs over 7000 workers worldwide.28% percent of the company's revenues are in the Americas, 39 % in EMEA and 33% in Australasia.
Prize winning Merino fleece judged on Zegna characteristics
As one of the biggest buyers of Merino wool, Ermenegildo Zegna has encouraged, supported and rewarded the efforts of the Australian wool industry since 1963 in the production of finer and softer wools. Despite this, the former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating was criticised by the Liberal Party for wearing his favourite Zegna double-breasted suits.
In 2002 the Ermenegildo Zegna Vellus Aureum Trophy was launched for wool that is 13.9 micrometre and finer. Wool from Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and South Africa may be entered and a winner is named from each country.
Most Zegna wool suits cost in the US$2,000 - $4,000 range, similar to competitors such as Gucci, Fendi, Prada, Versace and Armani. Price is dependent upon several factors. Zegna's top line is "Couture," formerly known as "Napoli Couture."