Zegna relationship strengthened

4 April 2012

The first company to become a Woolmark licensee, back in 1964 when the Woolmark brand was launched, was leading luxury menswear brand Ermenegildo Zegna.

The relationship between The Woolmark Company and Zegna continues strongly to this day, exemplified by the launch of a joint advertising campaign towards the end of last year, in some of the most important fashion and men’s titles – including Esquire, GQ and Monocle – in China, UK, United States and France. The objective was to help inform and educate consumers about the unique qualities of Merino wool. In particular, the campaign communicated the fineness and luxurious touch of Merino wool, achieved thanks to Zegna’s expertise and the great passion of Australian woolgrowers to improve the fibre at its source.

Zegna’s long-lasting passion for Merino wool is based on the recognition and appreciation of its inherent qualities of elasticity, fineness, versatility, breathability and comfort that Zegna, with its pioneering vision and attitude to innovation, has enhanced and improved on in the past 100 years, creating the most refined and high performing woollen fabrics.

Young entrepreneur Ermenegildo Zegna founded the company in 1910 in Trivero, Italy, striving to create quality fabrics for men’s clothing by selecting the best raw materials. He was the first to purchase fine, high quality Australian wool in large volumes. Wool has been crucial in every Zegna fabric collection ever since. The company is managed today by the fourth generation of the Zegna family. 

There are now more than 560 Zegna stores (330 company owned) in 87 countries around the world.

The company has pioneered early entry into emerging luxury markets, such as the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries and Asia in particular, and was the first luxury brand to open a monobrand store in China in 1991. In September last year Zegna launched an exhibition in Beijing, celebrating the history of the brand and its evolution in China throughout the past two decades.

The exhibition showcased an exclusive record of history through photographs, videos, documents, garments, fabrics and objects from the precious archives of the brand. One specific section of the exhibition was dedicated to textile materials that highlight Merino wool.

The Woolmark Company was recognised at the launch of the Beijing exhibition, with historical documents and images showing Aldo Zegna signing the first worldwide license agreed by Zegna and The Woolmark Company in 1964. A commemorative book, signed by both the brands and dedicated to Merino wool was given to the guests at the opening event, to testify the common story of excellence and passion.

“We congratulate Ermenegildo Zegna on the 20th anniversary of their presence in China and are both pleased and committed to continuing this historic relationship between Zegna and The Woolmark Company,” explained The Woolmark Company’s Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer Robert Langtry.

“It is Zegna’s commitment to quality, and the Australian woolgrowers’ continued commitment to quality improvement and innovation, that has ensured a successful and prosperous ongoing partnership.”

The common pursuit of excellence between Zegna and the Australian wool industry is   perfectly represented by the Ermenegildo Zegna Extrafine Wool Trophy, established in 1963 to award the Australian breeders’ commitment to quality.

The award was founded to stimulate the production of the finest Merino wool in Australia. At that time, the industry was turning towards coarser framed sheep that could guarantee to breeders a greater profit margin.

Zegna strongly believed in the potential and future of fine woollen fabrics. To create such fabrics, it was essential to get fine and superfine wool; therefore Ermenegildo Zegna was primarily interested in encouraging growers producing fine wool, supporting their efforts and attention to quality.