Zegna and the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. must have tons of fans.
Billed as an intimate gathering for the launch of the companies’ new Essenze Collection fragrance, the event at the Zegna Fifth Avenue store in New York City Monday night drew an overflow crowd that included bold-faced names such as Ed Burns, Peter Facinelli, Dan Abrams, Josh Elliott, Jesse Palmer, Scott Conant and Kelly Rutherford, as well as industry executives including Jim Gold and Russ Patrick of Neiman Marcus. Solange Knowles served as DJ for the evening and guests were treated to cocktails inspired by the quintet of men’s scents that were in turn inspired by the Ermenegildo Zegna Couture collection.
Zegna chief executive officer Gildo Zegna, who cohosted the evening with Lauder ceo Fabrizio Freda, said he was in North America for three purposes: the fragrance launch, Art Basel in Miami and a visit to Mexico where he will be honored for the 20th anniversary of the company’s entry into that country. “Our business there is growing very nicely,” he said.
He will also spearhead a big party for the opening of a temporary shop for Agnona in Miami during Art Basel later this week, his first visit to that event. “I often go to the one in Switzerland,” he said.
Zegna said the association with Lauder is the “first step” in what is expected to be a long partnership between the two companies. “I’m sure there are different ideas that will materialize in years to come,” he said. That is expected to include the launch of a skin-care collection as well, according to Freda.
“These are two family companies,” said Freda, “with very similar values that both have a passion for creativity, quality and entrepreneurship and common goals.” He said both firms are “very interested in global markets, particularly China” where Zegna has a significant foothold. “And we are interested in getting more into men’s brands, so the association with Zegna is perfect. And the two teams work well together; we have the same spirit. In the world of fragrance, it’s not just about technology but building a business together.”
On the Zegna front, the company will be working to build its women’s business when designer Stefano Pilati joins the company in January as creative director of Agnona and head of design for Zegna Couture. His influence will be seen first with the spring 2014 collections and will mark a “new impetus for design” at the company, Zegna said, noting that Pilati will also be working on the company’s fashion show next June.
Saying fashion is a “world of imagination,” Zegna said it necessitates companies to “make a major step. We have lots going on in the men’s field and we have to remain the leader,” while also making more of a mark in women’s. “It’s a bold decision, what to do with Agnona. It’s in a super luxe niche with a strong point of view that is Italian style and creativity. That’s where Zegna is already represented and Stefano will [help us] when we create a new concept with Agnona. We think it’s going to be a long journey, but we’re ready to support the brand.”
For its next men’s wear collection, @roberto_cavalli will show as a special guest at #PittiUomo, running from June 12-15. The brand, which has Florence in its roots, will relaunch its men’s wear collection, which will be presented separately from women’s wear for the first time since Paul Surridge was appointed creative director in May. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.