Alessandro Sartori debuts a strong—and sporty—collection to mark his return to Ermenegildo Zegna.
Models backstage at the Ermenegildo Zegna Couture fall 2017 runway show in Milan.
In today’s fashion landscape, where brands shuffle through designers like a deck of cards, it’s a refreshing rarity when a creative reconnects with a design house as Alessandro Sartori has recently done with his appointment as artistic director of Ermenegildo Zegna. Previously creative director of Z Zegna in the early aughts—the brand’s more performance-and athleisure-focused line—Sartori is now tasked with overseeing all three lines in the group’s collective: Ermenegildo Zegna Couture, Ermenegildo Zegna and Z Zegna.
“The only constant at Zegna is the appraisal of the finest craftsmanship,” states Sartori. “It is the key not only to the brand, but also to my design.” For his fall 2017 debut, this equated to tapping into the house’s family-owned wool mills by cutting its rich textiles into more modern and active silhouettes. Think densely woven tubular padded Jacquard separates underneath a light-asair felted cashmere overcoat with leather sleeves that have been quilted and waxed over.
However, where Sartori soars is in his ability to infuse these intricate creations with an everyday casualness. In this collection, this came in the form of more fluid tailoring, using drawstrings to define shapes and large rubberized zippers to top off classic pieces. This well-balanced juxtaposition of high tech merged with high luxury is what Sartori has made his signature over the years and what has found strong footing with consumers. “What I want to do at Zegna is build a vision for what men really need and what they want,” says Sartori. “I want to enhance rather than transform.”