Z Zegna reinvents the suit to attract younger generations
After a seven-year absence, Ermeneglido Zegna has returned to Pitti Uomo to unveil new plans for Z Zegna, its young line that has recently merged with Zegna Sport. The idea is to effectively respond to today’s 30-40 year-old demographic. The Italian menswear company presented thirty looks at the Stazione Leopolda in Florence Thursday night, revealing a new high-tech Z Zegna focused on essentials that successfully marry sartorial and sporty, elegant and comfortable.
“Actually, we grew up with Pitti Uomo. Then, we moved to Milan. Florence is a place that worships menswear and so we decided participate in Pitti this season, because Z Zegna is a good fit for the show, which is very attentive to how the market is evolving," says Anna Zegna, granddaughter of the founder and head of communications for the group.
"Zegna Group represents Italian manufacturing and the suit is its most important piece. It symbolizes the company’s age-old savoir-faire as regards menswear. Bringing this icon into the future is a real creative responsibility," says Paul Surridge, who has designed at Z Zegna for the past three years, now sharing the creative direction with Murray Scallon.
"Lifestyles have changed and the rules are more flexible. Nowadays, young people don’t wear suits anymore. They buy clothes for their aesthetic qualities, but they also appreciate performance. That’s why we’ve integrated new technologies into the collection in attempting to figure out how to reimagine the suit for new generations," said the British designer.
Z Zegna’s new silhouette is sartorial but shows a light touch and allows for a good deal of freedom of movement. The range consists of linear, timeless and simple pieces, tight-fitting but without impeding movement thanks to the use of technologically advanced sportswear fabrics.
The nylon windbreaker recreates the gleam of mohair, the parka can break down using zippers, the bermuda suit comes in an institutional gray, and a shirt and tie combines tones in a way reminiscent of camouflage. And of course, the Z Zegna man only wears "Techmerino racer" sneakers.
The pieces can be mixed at matched in order to play upon the color contrasts between gray-shaded suits and flashy lime waterproof jackets. “It’s a new, highly modular approach. We’ve reduced the number of parts and colors, so that they can be rearranged in order to create an infinite number of different looks. The most important thing is the energy that we wanted to convey," says Murray Scallon. The Irish designer has been working at the group for 13 years, having previously headed up Zegna Sport.
“Informal, sporty, hybridized, urban and innovative.” These are the five elements that now characterize the collection, which is dominated by super lightweight performance fabrics like "tech-Merino". "We’ve rethought Z Zegna’s identity, aiming for the right balance between sporty and the sartorial. The idea was to satisfy the demands of the hyperactive male traveler, from the time he leaves his home until he comes back, all the while staying connected to current market trends," concludes British designer Paul Surridge.
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