Every heritag e brand has its signatur e items, but in an age where disruption is the new norm, even icons need to be occasionally refreshed, and new codes established.
Founded in 1910, Ermenegildo Zegna might have a long history in menswear, but it was only 15 years ago that the Italian clothing and fabric giant began making leather shoes. In 2002, it began ramping up its leather-crafting capabilities with the takeover of high-end leather apparel-maker Longhi, and established the joint venture ZeFer in a partnership with Salvatore Ferragamo. It now fully owns ZeFer.
Today, the house is creating signature items in the leather goods segment. Aside from luggage and dress shoes such as its L’Asola loafers (distinguished by a buttonhole-like slit), the product that most sums up Zegna’s generation-bridging new era is its Tiziano sneakers.
The trio of Xs formed by Tiziano’s laces echo the triple-XXX stitch you will find on the back of these sneakers. Established by Stefano Pilati, the brand’s former head of design for its most premium Couture line, this motif – which is always hand-stitched – continues to distinguish Ermenegildo Zegna’s most exclusive goods.
These sneakers take after leather ankle boots, but are more casual, edgier and more minimalist than its inspiration. They are made from soft calf leather that is cut laterally and stitched together. White, light brown and dark brown are this season’s colour options.
As a decorative accent with an artisanal touch, a leather insert in a contrasting hue and embossed with the words “Ermenegildo Zegna Couture” is sewn into the soles, which are made from extra-light white rubber. While you can’t see the shoes’ undersides, they actually feature a herringbone pattern – a nod to Zegna’s sartorial expertise.