HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA GROUP
The Ermenegildo Zegna Group is the world leader in luxury men’s clothing. It has a yearly output of 2,3 million metres of fabric, 600.000 sleeve units, 1,6 million sportswear items, 1,750 million textile accessories. It employs more than 7.000 staff world-wide and has achieved a turnover of 843,4 million Euro in 2007, 90% of which is derived from clothing and accessories, 10% from textiles and over 88% of all sales are exported.
The Group is still a “family business” and is managed by the fourth generation of the family: Paolo as Chairman, Ermenegildo as CEO, Anna, Benedetta, Laura and Renata Zegna.
In the 1980s the Group’s process of vertical integration was completed with the opening of the first single-brand boutiques in Paris (1980) and Milan (1985). In the year 2007 the Group had 525 monobrand points of sale in the world (Ermenegildo Zegna and Zegna Sport), of which 253 are directly operated. More recent is the diversification of the offering, which, starting with the Chinese market, also involves significant multi-brand strategies.
In 1999, the Group acquired Lanerie Agnona; in September 2002 it set up ZeFer, a 50-50 joint venture with Salvatore Ferragamo Group, to develop the Ermenegildo Zegna brand in the international footwear and leather goods market. In March 2003, in China, it acquired 50% of SharMoon, a Wenzhou company belonging to the Chen family and producing high quality men’s suits and jackets for the Chinese market.
2003 also saw the launch of the new fragrance ESSENZA DI Zegna, followed in 2005 by Z Zegna and in 2007 by ZegnaIntenso, distributed by YSL Beauté, In December 2004 Zegna entered into an agreement granting De Rigo Vision Group a world-wide license to develop, produce and distribute a line of men’s eyewear, optical and sun, under the Ermenegildo Zegna label. In February 2006 a licensing agreement with Perofil Group was signed, for the worldwide license to produce and distribute underwear, socks and nightwear. A licensing agreement with stylist Tom Ford and Ermenegildo Zegna Group was announced simultaneously in 2006. The TOM FORD collection will encompass an extensive range of high luxury men’s clothes.
The Ermenegildo Zegna Group was founded in 1910 in Trivero, a small town in the Biella Alps by Ermenegildo Zegna. The young entrepreneur strove to create high quality fabrics for men’s clothing and his strategy was focused on the selection of the best raw materials from their markets of origin, innovation in product and in the production process and promotion of the brand.
The founder’s sons, Angelo Zegna, Honorary Chairman of the Group, and Aldo Zegna, who passed away in 2000, took over the management of the company from their father in the ’60s. They lead the company into the ready-to-wear market with a line of men’s clothing aimed at the top end of the market, followed gradually by knitwear, accessories and sportswear.
Alongside his industrial vocation, Ermenegildo Zegna dreamt of giving a face-lift to the mountainous terrain where his wool mill was and is still situated. Throughout the ’30s therefore he had over 500.000 conifers and rhododendrons planted on the most barren slopes and began construction work on a panoramic road, which bore his name. Following the example set by their forebear the family’s latest generations created the Oasi Zegna in 1993, an area stretching along