Zegna Centennial / Shanghai

Zegna Centennial / Shanghai

Ermenegildo Zegna’s centennial glamorously arrived with the star-studded opening of its first Global Concept Store in Shanghai. To mark the momentous occasion, the venerable men’s fashion house-cum-lifestyle heavyweight unveiled its absolutely sumptuous new core collection alongside this season’s swaggering Z Zegna collection. And as the figurative cherry on the lavish cake, Roisin Murphy dressed in scarlet was front and center (and sultry as ever) at the festivities that followed.

The product of the prolific architect Peter Marino (who’s been deservedly tagged with the epithet “architect of luxury” and is responsible for fantastical flagships for Dior, Chanel, Barney’s and others), the space’s 726 square meters are nothing less than a monolithic metaphor for Zegna’s impressive presence in China. Operating in the country since 1991, the company has been key in the evolution of China’s taste for luxury and is a cornerstone of its ever more sophisticated fashion culture. The new store’s prime location, adjacent to Xintiandi, among the elite menagerie of lifestyle businesses on Hua Hai Road, makes it truly the crown jewel among the brand’s more than 75 other stores in the country. Complete with an exclusive private shopping space for the biggest of its bigwig customers, as well as an “archetypal gentlemen’s lounge” decked out adroitly in Zebrano and bronze, the space is intended to evoke the austere and warm Italian masculinity synonymous with the brand.

Still, architecturally and spiritually, the space’s signature lies in its symbolic and textural homage to the brand’s renowned home in Triviero. As first and foremost a purveyor of finely detailed sartorial pieces, ultra high-quality textiles are to Zegna what Italy itself is to fashion: inextricable. It’s fitting, therefore, that the most complete expression yet of the brand takes its inspiration in large part from its almost sacred reverence for detail: playful touches hinting fancifully at meticulous tailoring and sumptuous fabrics abound in the store, from the lighted exterior’s ambient pinstripes to marble “selvedges” to several instances of seemingly loom-woven metal. Like their handmade suits, there’s rigorous perfectionism at work in everything Zegna does.

Cheers, Zegna. We warmly wish you another prosperous century.

By Tag Christof – images courtesy of Ermenegildo Zegna.