After more than a decade of design experience at Z Zegna and Berluti, in June 2016 Sartori returned to family-run Italian luxury giant Ermenegildo Zegna Group as artistic director, a newly-created role in which he oversees all Zegna brands and creative functions at the world’s largest luxury menswear brand. The former head of design for Ermenegildo Zegna Couture, Stefano Pilati had defected from his role just days before.
Sartori was born in Trivero, Italy, and grew up spending time in his mother’s dressmaking workshop. He studied fashion design at Istituto Marangoni Milano, graduating in 1989. Sartori first joined Zegna fresh out of design school, left, came back and spent eight years at the creative helm of Z Zegna, from 2003 to 2011.
In 2011, he joined Berluti, the Paris-based menswear brand founded in 1895 and acquired by LVMH in 2003, as artistic director. During his five-year tenure, the LVMH-owned company’s annual revenues grew from less than €30 million in 2011 to more than €100 million in 2016. Sartori built up Berluti’s ready-to-wear business from scratch, evolving the brand from a stiff, historic leather shoemaker into a modern lifestyle label with over 40 boutiques across the globe.
His appointment as the Group’s first artistic director marked the first time so much power from different parts of the company was amalgamated under one person. With over 500 monobrand stores, Ermenegildo Zegna is one of the largest luxury menswear brands in the world. The company has also extended its menswear dominance into perfume, rolling out mens cologne and fragrances for Spring/Summer 2019 season. Tapping into the lucrative Chinese market for the second time following the opening of its first Beijing boutique in 1991, the brand has also opened a flagship store on Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury Pavilion. The e-commerce shopping platform exclusively lists 80 luxury retailers including the likes of Bottega Venetta and Mulberry. There, the brand made its debut with a capsule collection in partnership with the Chinese Football Association, donating 5% of profits on every item to aid young chinese soccer players, marking its first incorporation of a third-party sales channel.
The company generated €1.159 billion in revenue in 2018, and counts China and Russia as its biggest markets. Positive growth was partly fuelled by its large stake acquisition in the New York City based label, Thom Browne , its partnership with Farfetch and Wechat. Ermenegildo Zegna operates 480 monobrand stores, including 267 directly owned and 213 franchised stores. In 2019, the brand opened a new global store in New York City, designed by Peter Marino . It has also further announced expansion plans into New Jersey, Istanbul, and renovations for its Palo Alto, San Paolo, Dubai and Beijing locations.