A show celebrating the Ermenegildo Zegna centenary at Milan's Triennale will open on 22 June 2010, running to 1 August 2010. It opens the brand's celebrations for its centenary, and, by illustrating the work of the Italian luxury fashion brand, it will help highlight the excellence in the sector and the way in which it has developed over the last century.
The show is subdivided into four sections: the Mind, the Hand, Style, and Environment. It shows how the brand built its vocation for excellence, along with a significant approach to social responsibility right from the start.
The show starts from "the Mind," namely Ermenegildo himself, whose pioneering concept in 1910 was to manufacture textiles at a level of quality higher than British fabrics which were at that time amongst the finest in the world. He also had the idea of identifying the textiles that he produced by weaving the name Ermenegildo Zegna into the selvage. Ermenegildo's sons Aldo and Angelo modernized production, and diversified, introducing garment production in 1968, and the "Su Misura" (made-to-measure) service in 1972. The next generation of the dynasty, Gildo and Paolo (now Managing Director and CEO), brought the company to its present-day status as a world-leading luxury brand, with 555 stores in 86 countries, and 7,000 employees.
"The Hand" illustrates the technical aspects of the trade, starting from the finest-quality wools in their initial form. The process of refining, spinning and weaving is illustrated, accompanied by the sound of water, an essential element in the process. The marque's most celebrated fabrics are shown suspended from the ceiling: Trofeo, High Performance, Cool Effect, Micronsphere, Vicuna and others.
Style is a section that includes a video highlighting the number "500," which corresponds to the number of people involved in the creation of a garment in the Su Misura Zegna service. The garments, suspended mid-air on dummies, are arranged in decades from the 1970s up until today, and they illustrate the common denominator that underlines the Zegna style throughout the passage of time: classical male sophistication, in harmony with the fashion of the day, and expressing absolute crafts skill. The same features can be seen in the new ranges that have been introduced, such as sportswear in the 1970s, and casual wear in the late 1980s.
An interesting example of Ermenegildo Zegna's attention to detail is provided by the "Concert Suit," a suit made specifically for great classical music conductors such as Valery Gergiev and Gianandrea Noseda. It was designed to permit the generous gesticulatory movement necessary while conducting, retaining an absolute sense of refined style.
The last section, Environment, illustrates the global store concept for stores worldwide, and the company's work in Trivero, the Italian town where the company was founded and where it is still based. The projects there include "All'aperto" for site specific works by contemporary artists including Daniel Buren and Alberto Garutti, and the "Visible" project developed by Michelangelo Pistoletto's Cittadellarte and the Zegna Foundation. A video by Mattias Klum provides an evocative view of Oasi Zegna, a protected nature reserve extending to over 100 square kilometres near Biella, around the "Zegna Panorama" created by the company's founder.
The show will run at Triennale di Milano, Viale Alemagna 6, Milan, from 22 June 2010 to 1 August 2010.
Open Tues-Sun 10.30 a.m.-8.30 p.m., open until 11 p.m. on Thurs and Fri. Tel. +39 02 7243 4208.
Further info: http://zegnacentennial.com/exhibition_event
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