RUNWAY: Z Zegna FW17It's been quite awhile since we've seen a collection from Z Zegna. After much re-jiggering, Z Zegna is back with a more athletic-minded aesthetic. But first, a history lesson. Alessandro Sartori had designed Z Zegna for some 5 years until he decamped to LVMH's Berluti. He was succeeded by Paul Surridge in 2011 and then for a short time Francesco Muzi and Murray Scallon. After a few seasons, Z Zegna's parent company decided to consolidate Z Zegna and its more athletic-minded brother Zegna Sport into one label. Eventually, Sartori left Berluti to return to Zegna full time, overseeing not just Z Zegna but all Zegna labels, including its flagship Ermenegildo Zegna, which saw the departure of former couturier Stefano Pilati.
Fall/Winter 2017 is the first season after Sartori's return. The collection is noticeably more athletic, with tweed pants tucked into wooly socks and worn with hiking boots or an athletic band running through the chest of a jacket or around the shoulder and sleeves of a coat. The result, we think, needs some extra re-jiggering, with more balance between the sportswear aspect and the athletic and performance-wear aspects. Right now, it seems far too focused on the latter and not enough on the former. Zegna, after all, is the largest menswear label in the world, a wide range of lower-priced suiting, apt for the boardroom rather than a night out with the guys, apres-ski, would surely expand the label's reach.