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The BoF Podcast: Ermenegildo Zegna Talks Bold Investments

Ermenegildo Zegna sits down with Imran Amed at the BoF China Summit to discuss the forward-looking, “millennial mindset” approach that underpins Zegna Group’s market strategy.
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LONDON, United Kingdom As an established global luxury group with over 100 years of history, Zegna is proof that forward-thinking adaptability does not have to come at the cost of brand legacy and heritage. Earlier this year, in a move that stunned many in the industry, the Italian company bought an 85 percent stake in Thom Browne in a deal valuing the American fashion label at approximately $500 million.

The acquisition of the designer brand was a bid to prepare the privately owned family business for generations to come, said chief executive Gildo Zegna. But rather than simply being a token move to revamp the group's image for a younger demographic, the executive viewed Thom Browne as "complementary" to the Zegna brand, "a different ball game in terms of statement," that will help the traditional brand take on new opportunities Zegna sees in accessories, personalisation and casualwear.

A self-proclaimed “competition freak,” Zegna knows the value of balancing a watchful eye over “who your competition is and how it moves” with the integrity of customer loyalty and a verticalised supply chain.

In our latest episode of Inside Fashion, Zegna discusses the deeper rationale behind his bold investment, the importance of adapting to key trends and the “millennial mindset,” as well as the influential role of China’s fashion market since Zegna opened the country’s first luxury store in 1991.

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