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The high-fashion clothing company Ermenegildo Zegna (pronounced "Zenya") was founded in 1910 in Trivero, Italy by tailor and entrepreneur Ermenegildo Zegna. The company is often referred to simply as Zegna. Zegna quickly gained a reputation for producing fine quality wool suits, and by the end of the 1930s, the outfitter employed 1,000 workers. In 1942, the company was split into Ermenegildo Zegna and Sons, and Ermenegildo's sons Aldo (born 1920) and Angelo (born 1924) joined the company. By 1955, Ermenegildo Zegna and Sons employed 1,400 workers.

Zegna suits, long popular in Italy, were first sold in the United States in 1938, but being so expensive, they were sold in limited numbers during the Depression and war years.

Aldo and Angelo Zegna took control of the company in 1966 when their father died at the age of 74. All Zegna suits were made-to-measure until 1968 when the brothers launched a line of ready-made suits for commercial sale. The new line was produced in Zegna's factory in Novara, Italy.

Another factory was opened in Spain in 1973, and another in Greece in 1975. The Greek plant closed after two years, however, because it was deemed unprofitable. A Zegna plant opened in Switzerland in 1977, which today employs 800 workers. While many Zegna suits are factory produced, the most expensive are still made-to-measure.

Recent history

Zegna opened its first retail store in Paris in 1980. Another store was opened in Milan in 1985. By the year 2000, there were 300 Zegna retail locations worldwide. Currently, the Zegna Group has boutiques in Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Turkey, Mexico, the United States and Japan. More recently, stores have also opened in China, Argentina, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Australia and India.

As of 1999, the Zegna Group had eight manufacturing plants in Italy, two in Spain, three in Switzerland, one in Mexico and one in Turkey. Zegna's range of manufactured products covers fabrics, suits, neckties, knitwear, shirts, accessories and sportswear. Zegna clothing is sold in American, European and Asian markets.

Ermenegildo Zegna has a yearly output of over two million meters of fabric, 350,000 suits, one million pieces of sportswear and 1.5 million neckties. Zegna employs 4,500 workers worldwide. Forty percent of the company's sales are in the Americas, 40 percent in Europe and 20 percent in Asia.

Angelo Zegna has been the sole president of the Zegna Group since Aldo Zegna passed away in 2000.

Most Zegna suits cost in the US$2,000 - $3,000 range, similar to competitors such as Gucci, Fendi, Prada, Versace and Armani. Price is dependent upon several factors. The "Z Zegna" sport/diffusion line features suits starting at about US$900, and tend to be less conservative in their styling. Zegna's top line is "Couture", formerly known as "Napoli Couture."

Learn more about Ermenegildo Zegna from the official web site.

The above article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  1/10/06

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