Fashion
  • Text Sara Semic
  • 20th July 2020

Man + machine

For luxury Italian menswear label Ermenegildo Zegna, the SS21 collection was marked not just by a global pandemic, but also by the brand’s 110th anniversary this year. To celebrate this milestone, artistic director Alessandro Sartori returned to the birthplace of the brand in Oasi Zegna, a nature park founded by Ermenegildo Zegna in the 1930s, right by where the company’s wool mill is located. Staging its first ‘phygital’ event, the brand presented a runway show spanning the forests of the Oasi Zegna to the factory and the archives, which was livestreamed to the public.

For the runway, the models walked down a grassy hilltop and up a stone path, before going inside the mill itself and walking past industrial machinery and the brand’s archives, then coming up onto the roof of the mill for the finale, where we got a drone-shot aerial view of the collection as the models stood in formation. After the runway show, Sartori introduced the collection to the public in a socially-distanced walk-through.

Using the lush, natural surroundings of the factory as his starting point, Sartori created a collection inspired by the bond between man, machine and nature. The result was a whisper-light collection full of loose-cut, fluid tailoring made from viscose silk, and lightweight “hybrid” jackets constructed from recycled wool with roomy pockets, in a natural colour palette of stone grey, tan, tawny brown, dark olive, salmon pink and blue that was plucked from the surroundings. This offering laid out Sartori’s bold new vision for menswear: perfectly constructed tailoring with a lighter, romantic feel.