MILAN, Italy — Alessandro Sartori will be appointed to the newly-created position of artistic director of the family-run Italian luxury giant Ermenegildo Zegna Group, with responsibility across all Zegna brands and all creative functions, the group revealed exclusively to BoF. Previously, Sartori spent eight years at the creative helm of Z Zegna, from 2003 to 2011, before leaving to join Berluti where he built a ready-to-wear business from scratch. LVMH-owned Berluti, which he exited on Monday, is now generating more than €100 million in revenue, up from less than €30 million in 2011.
Sartori will officially join the Ermenegildo Zegna Group in June 2016 and will report directly to Gildo Zegna, chief executive officer of the company. Sartori’s first full season for the company will be Autumn/Winter 2017.
“I've known Alessandro and his style for many years and I am extremely excited to welcome him back to our group. His talent, creativity, passion and modernity make him the perfect fit to help us take Zegna to the next phase of its development,” said Gildo Zegna in a statement.
"I want to thank Gildo and the whole Zegna family for this fantastic opportunity. I grew up watching and admiring their creations and their authentic and deep values and I am extremely excited to write with the whole Zegna team the next chapter. I cannot wait to enter in their fabulous archives and to meet their artisans to start working on the new collections,” added Alessandro Sartori.
The announcement comes days after Stefano Pilati, former head of design for Ermenegildo Zegna Couture, exited the company. "We wanted to develop a strong point of view in fashion as well as style, and for Zegna to be a show not to be missed in Milan. We have reached this objective faster than expected,” said Gildo Zegna at the time of Pilati’s departure.
Ermenegildo Zegna is, by far, the largest luxury menswear brand in the world, with over 500 monobrand stores. The company generated €1.2 billion in revenue in 2014, the last year for which figures were available. Greater China is the biggest single market for the company — accounting for roughly a third of total revenue in 2014 — and the country’s economic slowdown has impacted the business. Sales in China fell 5 percent in 2014, although Zegna expected to see stabilisation in the second half of 2015. The USA is the company’s second-largest market, followed by Italy and Japan.