Spring 2021 Menswear
Pictures by Ermenegildo Zegna
SUSTAINABLE TO THE CORE
The House of Zegna Celebrates its Surroundings and Honors the Environment With a Reclaimed Spring Collection
The term “shelter in place” took on new meaning as the world came to a standstill this year, but fortunately for Ermenegildo Zegna Creative Director Alessandro Sartori, that place was the fabled headquarters and factory of the Italian brand; located in the town of Trivero, two hours northeast of Milan, which also happens to lie within the nature reserve Oasi Zegna. Founded on these grounds in 1910, the Zegna brand has rooted itself into its surroundings, planting half a million trees on the reserve in the past 110 years, and served as not only the location for Sartori’s Spring presentation but also his source of inspiration.
With this history and landscape at his disposal, Sartori presented a live collection, which was filmed and streamed across platforms worldwide during Milan Digital Fashion Week. Models began their journey appearing over the top of a rolling green hill, making their way through stone pathways and trees, into the wooden box lined textile archive of the actual Zegna factory. Through manicured lawns and loom filled rooms, they made their way in and out of the forest to arrive at their final destination: the roof of the mill, where they placed themselves a socially distant 6 feet apart for final drone footage, while Sartori and a small group of people watched nearby.
The theme of the collection was sustainable wearability. Having previously joined the Fashion Pact, a group of fashion brands from around the world committed to lowering waste and environmental impact in their industry, Sartori is a leader in this fight. His previous collections have used upcycled fabrics, with at least 20% of new suits being made from Zegna’s existing nylon and wool waste archive. Sartori’s Spring 2021 collection is proudly made of 35% recycled fabrics, with a goal in mind to reach 50% in the future.
With sustainability in mind, Zegna’s Spring collection was designed with the mindset that these clothes were to be worn for multiple seasons, for several years to come. The clothes were inspired by the lush surroundings with loose cut suits shown in deep greens and earthy shades of brown. The styling was casual, with unbuttoned suit jackets, long sleeves scrunched up the arms of models who strut about with their hands nonchalantly placed in their pockets. Shirts were breezy and collarless, with silk scarves wrapped loosely around some model’s necks. Pockets were flapped and large on boxy shirts, jackets, and utility coats. A sprinkling of pattern crept its way into the otherwise neutral collection in the form of colorful strips shown in pastels, including a beige and light pink suit tied at the waist with a brown sweater, and subtle tie-dye, made into a deep V cut collared shirt with bell sleeves, paired with breezy peach-colored pants.
The collection felt as effortless as its bucolic surroundings; a sustainable, wearable showcase that highlights the modern man and the somewhat more lax rules of professional dressing coming out of months of quarantine. The house of Zegna has always been a leader in menswear and Italian style, and Sartori’s promise to make the brand more sustainable and environmentally friendly is just another reason to celebrate his beautiful creation.
Written by Elizabeth Kramsky