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Alessandro Sartori: “We want to be comfortable, but with a silhouette that favors;Dress well to work, even from home "

By hollisterclothingoutlet 20/08/2022 602 Views
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The office suit is in crisis, but Alessandro Sartori, director of Ermenegildo Zegna, is not afraid.

Carlos Primo

En julio de 2019 el grupo Ermenegildo Zegna adquirió la participación mayoritaria de Dondi, una fábrica de prendas de punto de calidad. El movimiento tuvo cierta repercusión en los medios especializados, pero mucho menos que la adquisición, un año antes, de la firma estadounidense de autor Thom Browne. Que Zegna comprara Dondi era, a ojos de los analistas, un giro empresarial previsible, un modo de ampliar la panoplia de talleres de esta firma nacida en 1910 como fabricante de tejidos de lana y que hoy es una de las joyas del made in Italy, célebre por sus trajes a medida y su línea de moda masculina.Alessandro Sartori: “Queremos estar cómodos, pero con una silueta que favorezca; vestir bien para trabajar, aunque sea desde casa” Alessandro Sartori: “Queremos estar cómodos, pero con una silueta que favorezca; vestir bien para trabajar, aunque sea desde casa”

However, in March 2020 the pandemic stopped the world and millions of men stopped using a suit daily.They started teleworking and became comfortable.And then Dondi's acquisition was revealed decisive."There we had all the experience and knowledge necessary to tell the story we wanted to tell".Designer Alessandro Sartori (Biella, 54 years old), creative director of Ermenegildo Zegna, holds in the hands the result of that providential decision.It is an American made in puppy.Sartori serves us from the brand's offices in Milan before premiere in digital media his collection for the next fall.During the videoconferencing, the camera follows the creative director for the hangers, approaches to appreciate the details and only stops when, after touring the collection, the designer sits to answer our questions.In Zegna they take teleworking seriously.And observation, too.

"The starting point is to think what we need in our cabinets, and what we have in our cabinets but we no longer need," says Sartori."And what our clients tell us is that we need a point, light jackets, multifunctional and combinable garments".Last year their stores devised a protocol to serve their clients by videoconference."When you enter the house of the people you realize many things that you did not know before," he says.“The client shows you a blue jacket and a gray coat, and wants pants that do well with the two.That does not happen in physical stores.No one takes their closet in tow when it goes shopping ".

Alessandro Sartori: “Queremos estar cómodos, pero con una silueta que favorezca; vestir bien para trabajar, aunque sea desde casa”

The result of that field work is the collection of next autumn.There are coats without lining, light gabardines with large pockets and subtle craples.And there are costumes, of course.But less than before."It's a fact," says Sartori, "men who previously bought several every season, now they want something different.And it is not a matter of money or to look more young, but of a change of mentality.We want to be comfortable, but with a silhouette that favors.We want to dress well to work, even from home ".

The commitment to luxury sportswear vertebra a good part of today's male fashion, but it is surprising to listen to it in the spokesman of a brand that in the collective imaginary remains synonymous with precision tailoring.What happens then with the costumes?"Sastrería will always remain there, but much more as in prêt-à-porter," he replies.“We will always have ready to buy costumes, but to a lesser extent.If you want a blue suit, you find it safe.If you are looking for something more special, we do it to you and we give it to you in three weeks anywhere in the world ”.

Sartori puts a practical example capable of triggering a brainstorm in the most skeptical board of directors.“This morning I reviewed the projects of the stores that we are going to open this summer in South Korea, China and the United States.Those responsible for these markets are asking us that the entire store be dedicated to comfortable and sports clothes, with a single room for tailoring.Before the opposite happened.The costumes occupied four fifths of each store.The future is clear.To succeed in fashion you have to anticipate customer requests.The success is to reach the appointment five minutes before.If you are late, you fail ".

Zegna's commitment is to be in the right place at the exact moment.And his power in China, which with more than 60 stores is his first market, has allowed him to cushion the crisis in the sector.As Gildo Zegna, CEO and third generation at the head of the company revealed last summer, the Asian giant accounted for 40% of the company's income in 2019.Even despite pandemic, in the second half of 2020 Zegna managed to keep a double digit growth in China.Its global business volume in 2020 has exceeded one billion euros.The figure is less than that of 2019, when it invoiced 1.300, but, given the general collapse, "it could have been worse," in Zegna's words.

Zegna's sports turn, therefore, is anything but free.And it does not imply burning the ships."These garments are made in the same workshops that our custom costumes come out," explains Sartori."Having the lanificio [the structure that groups the lanera activity of the group] is as for a chef having the garden next to the kitchen".The same puppy or vicuña fiber serves to make a classic coat, a jacket without shoulder pads or a knife shirt.Even women's garments, although only on request."There are unattered needs," he explains.“In our closet they continue to miss interchangeable and multifunctional products.For example, a tailoring shirt that can also be used as a jacket.Our garments are sustainable because they are made by hand and last many years.We are hypermodern, but close ".

Sartori was born in Biella, not far from Trivero, Ermenegildo Zegna's home.He studied design and at the end he threw the curriculum near home."When they hired me, I felt like a footballer signing for the team of his dreams".Sartori relevant in 2003, when he took charge of Z Zegna, the line with which the company took a first step towards author's fashion.

The canterano turned out to be the perfect striker.He was in office until 2011, when he accepted the creative direction of Berluti.In 2016 he returned to Zegna, this time as a creative and leadership director of his fashion collections."When I arrived at the company for the second time, the old fabric factory had become a global brand with licenses, accessories, clothing and campaigns," he recalls.“The interesting thing is that in the background everything is still handmade and familiar.It is one of the few companies that operate like this.We manage from the flocks of sheep in Australia to the final product in store.Marks capable of doing that are with the fingers of one hand.Chanel, Loro Piana, Hermès, Zegna.And that's it.That makes a difference.When I arrived in Zegna for the first time, there was a heart.Now there is still a heart, but also head.And it's very exciting ".

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