On the fringes of a press conference for the autumn/winter 2021 collection, the CEO of Ermenegildo Zegna recently expressed his feelings about the future of the Italian brand this year. This remains realistic and puts aside the possibility of the brand achieving a full recovery in 2021, despite a forecast of a strong recovery in the second half of the year.
Even if for most luxury brands and groups the results at the end of 2020 have raised hopes for the new year, it should not be forgotten that the pandemic is not over. Indeed, despite the numerous vaccination campaigns, the virus continues to contaminate the population and its mutations and variants are causing a certain amount of anxiety.
CEO Gildo Zegna doubts that a complete remission will be achieved this year after the severe consequences of the virus. Indeed, the group reported a drop in sales of just over 20%.
However, he remains quite positive and believes that the brand has nevertheless achieved the target set for the year 2020, which is so specia l: “We have managed to stay above €1 billion in revenue, which was my target, to preserve liquidity and to keep a base profit thanks to cost reduction”.
This positivity is also due to the fact that the CEO considers that the brand is more prepared for the health situation than in the previous year and that it can only get better.
“I think 2021 will be between 2019 and 2020. It will certainly not be worse than last year. I don’t dare to make more ambitious estimates, the first half of the year doesn’t seem easy,” CEO Gildo Zegna told journalists.
“But we are certainly more prepared than last year to deal with the situation,” he added.
To face the pandemic more gloriously, the Italian luxury clothing group is relying heavily on the Chinese market and digital sales, like all its competitors elsewhere. According to Zegna, China has been “the lungs” of the group thanks to the strong demand since this summer, as well as for digital sales, which exploded during the pandemic.
In addition, the Italian brand opened Milan’s Digital Fashion Week with a film where indoor and outdoor wardrobes come together. Alessandro Sartori, the artistic director of Zegna, had never envisaged a physical fashion show for his autumn-winter collection. Favouring safety, he felt that the video could also reach the general public.
This autumn-winter collection therefore pays homage to the situation that people all over the world are experiencing by offering clothes that are more suited to life at home, i.e. casual, fluid and unstructured. Goodbye to formal and uncomfortable clothes.
“I think that in the future we will dress more and more ‘Silicon Valley style’, inside and out, he as well as she,” said the CEO, pointing to a new strategy to move from formal to more informal clothing.
Zegna’s new wardrobe unveils indoor and outdoor clothing blending together in the intimacy of a people’s home.
“This meeting makes it possible to create a new aesthetic, explained the artistic director. What you wear at home and what you wear to the office, when you spend your days on Zoom, become one. We thought of a wardrobe that would meet these needs. The same garment can be worn in many different ways.”
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