The Italian menswear brand has redefined its recipe for pure luxury with more light, space and room to relax.
The refit is already working its magic when Drapers visits Ermenegildo Zegna’s refurbished London flagship. The Italian heavyweight has decided to lighten the load for its well-heeled shoppers. Not only does that mean an airy store with fewer products on display, it also means seating areas that tempt shoppers to linger for longer.
When Drapers arrives at the New Bond Street store a chic customer in a classic trench, purple knit, jeans and loafers is looking at home on the sofa talking passionately to the immaculately dressed staff in Italian. What’s he doing here? “Having a cup of tea, getting out of the rain, shopping,” he says. He is an art dealer and he likes Ermenegildo Zegna because “it is not about trends, it is classic, with the best fabrics. I know if I buy something here I can still wear it in 10 years’ time”.
The Ermenegildo Zegna top brass will be pleased to hear that because this refit, which will be echoed in New York, Milan and Dubai, seeks to spotlight the timeless element of fashion. For instance, there is little product in here from sub-brand Zegna Sport and the trend-led Z Zegna range is nowhere to be seen. The strategy here is to embrace luxury rather than trends. Merchandise focuses on the Ermenegildo Zegna mainline with increased depth on accessories, luxe casualwear and its Couture tailoring lines.
The result in terms of product categories is more variety within a focused theme.
A walk into the store starts with browser-friendly selections of leather goods and sunglasses, while shirts are displayed on individual glass shelves recessed into the wall.
Across the store, the design meets expectations – backlit shelves house each product category, while the interior colour palette is a spectrum of rich wood and creams. Glass display cases are edged with brushed steel. The flooring at ground level is a light limestone, but downstairs is devoted to tailoring and a dark slate floor is used in a bid to create a more austere impression.
Fittingly for the company which supplies designer label Tom Ford’s tailoring fabrics, the tailoring room is deeply reminiscent of Ford’s own stores, underlining their joint pursuit of time-rich, prosperous customers.
The paean to tailoring is split into two areas, one for the Sartorial collection and an inner sanctum reserved for the Couture range – a made-to-measure collection that takes the customer from fabric to finished suit in two measurings and six weeks.
Here, shoppers are treated to a personal service – for “as long as it takes” according to a spokesman – in a changing room area lined with mirrors to create the illusion of space.
When this storefit is rolled out in Dubai and Milan it will be over far bigger areas. But the intimacy of this store adds to its appeal and as our art dealer friend lounging upstairs would no doubt confirm, that only intensifies its luxurious qualities.
37-38 New Bond Street, London W1
3,500sq ft: Size of the shop floor at the New Bond Street store
20sq ft: Extra space added to the shop floor by the refit
450: The number of exclusive tailoring fabrics available in store