Τhe company was founded in 1910 by Ermenegildo Zegna. At the age of 18 he founded the Lanificio Zegna (wool mill) and what was to become one of Italy’s best known dynamic family business. He had a dream that he would make, in his own words, “the most beautiful fabrics in the world.”
His vision was to source the best quality natural fibres, directly from their country of origin; to innovate in product and production processes; to promote the brand and to invest in the environment of his suppliers and workers. By the early 1980s this vision had been realised in a fully vertically-integrated company in wool production. Zegna has close control over each part of its supply chain: owning everything from a farm in Australia to mills in Italy, fabric cutting houses in Switzerland through to the boutique stores where its fabrics are sold across the globe.
Unusually for a menswear brand, Ermenegildo Zegna is completely vertically integrated, helping it oversee the highest quality: from the pasture the sheep graze on to the final buttonhole detail on a made to measure suit.
Each generation of the family has been involved in consolidating Ermenegildo Zegna’s vision, ensuring that the name Zegna remains relevant. In 1972 it launched its Made to Measure service. In 1980 Zegna opened its first boutique in Paris. This was followed by shops in London in 1983 and Milan in 1985. When opened its boutique at the Palace Hotel, Beijing in 1991, it was the first western luxury menswear brand to open a boutique in China, in line with its strategy of entering emerging markets early.