Zhang Jian, soccer player Cheng Dong Zhang and Gildo Zegna.

Ermenegildo Zegna Group inked an agreement to design and provide the official men’s off-field formal and leisurewear attire for China’s national soccer team and Under 22/Under 23 team. Running through Jan. 31, 2020, the sponsorship will cover the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches and will be previewed today, during China’s national team players’ travel from Shenyang to Seoul for a game against Korea Republic.

The partnership marks a new milestone for the company in China, where the brand has been present for 25 years, since the opening of its first flagship in Beijing in 1991.

“It is a great honor for Zegna to dress China’s National Football Team and the U-22/U-23 team,” said Gildo Zegna, chief executive officer of the namesake company, highlighting the huge potential of the sport in the country, where several government initiatives have been geared toward raising public interest and expanding the soccer community. “We are excited to use our experience and heritage in tailoring to dress the country’s national team and I know that the players will make us and their nation proud.”

Zhang Jian, vice president and general secretary of CFA, the Chinese soccer association, said, “Ermenegildo Zegna is renowned as one of the world’s most famous menswear brands, while both the national [soccer] team and the Under 22/23 team command a loyal and rapidly growing following.” Jian stressed how the partnership “will elevate the image of our country’s national [soccer] team” and hoped it will “help inspire [the team] to victories on the field.”

Exclusively designed for the occasion, both the tailor-made formal and leisurewear wardrobes are customized with the CFA Team China crest. The formal uniform is a navy, single-breasted suit with a red lining — a nod to the country’s official color. Styled with a cotton white shirt, navy pocket square with geometric details and burgundy or navy silk tie, the look is completed by black derby shoes in calf leather and a raincoat in Ermenegildo Zegna’s Elements Trofeo fabric.

The leisurewear option combines denim jeans with a navy full-zip sweatshirt in Techmerino, a natural, high-performance fabric made of pure merino wool. Accessories include a dark blue backpack with red details and signature Triple Stitch sneakers in red grained calf leather.

The sponsorship, which will be promoted by a marketing and communications campaign, is not the company’s first presence in the sporting field. Over the years, Ermenegildo Zegna Group not only enhanced its connection with the world of sport, creating high-performance fabrics and activewear, but also supported several events, including the Italian regattas in Portofino.