Ermenegildo Zegna’s spring ’18 men’s collection was all about luxe earthy tones. “The inspiration for this collection starts with the idea of a modern man who is thinking about his wardrobe in a completely different way,” said artistic director Alessandro Sartori. “He has references from his father, his friends, pictures, magazines, books — all that he sees is very important.”
Sartori conveyed the idea via an eclectic mix of rich, textural ready-to-wear fabrics. New shoe highlights included the Asola loafer and Tiziano sneaker, with extra-wide laces, hand stitching and lateral-cut details. “I love to take inspiration from the past, from classic styles, by reinventing them without any nostalgic feeling,” he said.
This season, the designer also found inspiration in Milan’s Università Statale, the venue for the runway show during Fashion Week. “It’s an important place to me. When I was a student, it was one of the places where I felt at ease,” said Sartori. “I often spent time sketching, reading and dreaming in the courtyard.”
Below, we ask Sartori five essentials questions for spring.
1. How did you translate inspirations into the collection?
“I wanted a silhouette that changes when you walk. When you stand, it’s a beautiful bomber or an elegant double-breasted jacket. When you walk, due to the oversize silhouette and the light weight of the fabric, the silhouette inflates and the body changes, creating something beautiful and effortless with a very beautiful, summer feeling. I love the idea of creating a new men’s wardrobe, and the idea of being able to transform the classic universe into something which is as fun as womenswear. The key point is the personal style and styling at the end.”
2. Tell us about the new Tiziano sneaker.
“These high-top sneakers symbolize the idea of crafting modernity, a merging of the intensely artisanal and the resolutely contemporary. Designed around a clean, minimalist form of the ankle boot, the Tiziano sneaker is rich in details inspired by the tailoring world, a bold cut of footwear designed for the modern man. This season, they made their debut on the catwalk featuring the new Ermenegildo Zegna Couture XXX maxi logo on the spoiler.”
3. What other footwear styles did you explore for spring ’18?
“L’Asola is a contemporary reinterpretation of the mocassino. We’ve taken an Italian classic and updated it to suit the demands of the modern traveling man. Lightweight, soft and suitable for all occasions, I think it’s the most comfortable slip-on you’ll ever wear. The handcrafted reverse construction makes the shoes foldable and packable, perfect for the traveling man who seeks style without compromising comfort. In Italy we wear them without socks.”
4. How do you balance couture constructions with an easy sensibility?
“With evolution. You can be accurate, but the overall silhouette should not feel restrictive. The wardrobe of the forward-looking man is built around fluidity, freshness and color. Freedom is the key.”
5. How did you choose the set for the show at the Università Statale?
“Milan is the city of secret places and it’s good to let people know its wonders. I’ve been fascinated with creating an interior modern ambient juxtaposed to the historic and private site, like a scrapbook in a garden.”
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