As a general rule, we don't publicise store openings on TheRake.com, if we were to write about every luxury store that opened globally, we’d never get a chance to do anything else. Every now and then though, a landmark opening in the luxury menswear world comes along that is so significant, and impressive, that we cannot help but feel compelled to draw attention to it. Last night’s opening of the extraordinary new Ermenegildo Zegna Global Store on London’s New Bond Street is one such exception.
Situated in the self-same spot as the very first Ermenegildo Zegna boutique in London, the first thing that grabs one about this new store is its extraordinary façade. Unique to the London Global Store, the façade presents a tasteful ode to London’s architectural heritage – bringing together indulgent red and grey marble elements with the traditional red brick and bow windows of the property above for something that feels contemporary, yet true to New Bond Street. In the front windows, metal strands represent the warp and weft of superfine Merino yarns in a loom, which sit alongside sculptures of sheep heads that reference those sheep head statues found at Villa Zegna, the spiritual heartland for the brand in Trivero, Italy.
The store was designed by Peter Marino, and intends to take visitors on an almost impossibly chic journey through the world of Ermenegildo Zegna, floor by floor. Upon entering, you’re greeted by a luxurious, yet airy space, impressive in its size with high ceilings clad in dark, rich materials – indulgent surfaces in polished rosewood and cerused ashwood in ivory feature throughout the store. This ground floor is dedicated to Zegna’s accessories collection, with sumptuously soft leather goods in prime position, as well as areas dedicated to the seamless pairing of luxury casual and sportswear. Gliding up the staircase to the first floor, one is brought smoothly into a similarly chic space for the Zegna casualwear collection. Beyond that and on to the second floor, tailoring takes hold, with luxury formalwear and the Ermenegildo Zegna Couture Collection the main focus. To top the Zegna experience, the third floor combines a discreet bar and lounge with a space dedicated to Su Misura tailoring, the most elevated service that the house offers. The entire experience is flawless, one feels comfortable but remains entirely aware that they are in the midst of something extremely refined. Even so, the store feels authentic, relaxed and anything but intimidating.
Of course, it goes without saying that a sense of artistry and artisanship underpins everything that Zegna does, and never more so than now with the house under the tenure of its new Artistic Director, Alessandro Sartori. Engaging with fine art is evidently as important to the brand as is engaging with the quality of its materials and the craftsmanship of its clothing. The ZegnArt initiative, pioneered by Zegna to enrich the brand’s story in art, pioneers meaningful collaborations with artists that share the house’s philosophy to produce works that take pride of place in Zegna’s global stores. For the opening of the London Global Store, ZegnArt has worked with renowned South African artist William Kentridge to produce a new piece that communicates the philosophy that underpins the house to this day. The work in question is named Dare / Avere, and articulates Kentridge’s own interpretation of the history and values of Zegna.