Style: Bespoke Ermenegildo Zegna shoes, only available in London

The reopening of Ermenegildo Zegna’s shop on New Bond Street in London features these bespoke shoes. Photos by Bloomberg

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This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on November 25, 2016.

 

At the reopening of Ermenegildo Zegna’s shop on New Bond Street in London, Gildo Zegna, the chief executive officer of the family-owned fashion brand, was in a mood to party.  

And rightly so. Ermenegildo Zegna opened its first shop on this spot in 1987, and the new store celebrates the brand’s long history with London, nearly three decades later. The new, four-storey location, designed by architect Peter Marino, has more than 6,500 sq ft of space and seamlessly blends the brand’s commitment to sustainability and quality craftsmanship while preserving the 18th-century, predominantly Georgian architecture of New Bond Street.

Even bigger cause for good cheer is the return of Alessandro Sartori as artistic director. He was the creative director of Z Zegna, the brand’s more casual, minimalist line, before departing for Berluti, where he helped turn the elite cobbler into a fully integrated lifestyle brand.

Though the shoes are designed by Sartori, they will be made by one of England’s most respected bespoke shoemakers, Gaziano & Girling.

The duo of Tony Gaziano and Dean Girling started their English-focused brand of bespoke footwear 10 years ago but already have their own shop at 39 Savile Row and have attracted fans ranging from Fiat heir Lapo Elkann to billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk. The duo also runs a factory in Northampton where all the shoes will be made. Each pair for Zegna will start at roughly US$6,200 (RM27,653), require two fittings, and take six months to complete.

It is this balance of heritage and innovation that inspired Sartori when designing the collection, and it seems indicative of things to come.

“One of the things that I always adored when working at Zegna, both in the past and now, is to visit their archives in Trivero,” he said. “To see so many different and interesting designs, particularly from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, was a moment in fashion when the combination of craft and style became so very important.”

Though Sartori plays with Zegna’s rich history, his real strength is his ability to marry modern design to classic silhouettes. “I don’t want to be nostalgic; one thing is to have the feel, the other is to have the modernity.” — Bloomberg