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Italian luxury group Zegna tailors its cloth to suit millennials
NOVEMBER 19, 2017 | FT | by Rachel Sanderson in Milan.

Casual wear has become the fastest-growing luxury segment as tech savvy consumers want a high-end iteration of the “hoodie and sneakers look” favoured by tech entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley to China.....The response of Mr Zegna, who together with his sister Anna and cousin Paolo run Zegna, has been to “reinvent ourselves in the casualisation world”.
.....So-called casualisation of luxury is one of the biggest trends in the €250bn industry, according to consultant Bain. Luxury brands invested €500m on developing “rubber slides” (a type of flip-flop) last year alone and €3.5bn on sneakers in an effort to attract millennial and Generation Z consumers, estimated to make up nearly half of the luxury market by 2025.

Failure to spot the trend can prove costly. Patrizio Bertelli, co-chief executive of family firm Prada, last month blamed a failure to spot the trend for luxury sneakers behind a tumble in revenues in its first half.

The luxury industry invested €3.5bn on sneakers last year as they tap the trend for upmarket casualisation © Bloomberg
“If there is one product today that is impulse driven and creates emotions [among consumers] it is the sneaker,”
..Zegna’s strength is that it controls its entire supply chain. ....Zegna three years ago bought a 6,300 acre farm with 10,000 sheep in Australia. Last year, it bought 60 per cent of a textile factory in Italy. Mr Zegna likes to say that Zegna goes from “sheep to shop to screen”, the latter in a nod to the rise of online shopping for luxury. Of its 7,000 employees half work in the industry and half in distribution.
.......Zegna says having raw materials and manufacturing at its fingertips has surprisingly proven a boon. “In this day in which the suit, like the tie, is not so popular, people are going for personalisation,”
.....In the world of men’s luxury — like other disrupted industries — consumers either want things “very fast” luxury or “very slow”, he argues.

For those willing and able to pay upwards of €5,000 for a bespoke suit, “It will take at least three months for you to have your beautiful garment,” says Mr Zegna with an evident satisfaction.
luxury  Italian  mens'_clothing  suits  millennials  CEOs  trend_spotting  sneakers  family-owned_businesses  Zegna  digital_savvy 
november 2017 by jerryking
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