Zegna has created a special collection for Chinese soccer players.

Ermenegildo Zegna is expanding its reach in China.

The luxury Italian men’s wear brand has opened a digital “flagship” on Tmall Luxury Pavilion in a move that marks Zegna’s first online offering in the market outside of its own e-commerce site.

Zegna was one of the first luxury-goods brands to enter China with the opening of its first store in Beijing in 1991. The country now represents about half of its overall business. At the WWD CEO Summit in October, chief executive officer Ermenegildo Zegna, said: “We used to test new things in this market [the U.S.], but now we test them in China, and if it works, then we bring them around the world. [The Chinese customer] is so alive and he wants continuous innovation — probably because he’s younger and he has more time to shop.”

As part of its launch on Tmall, Zegna has created an exclusive collection with the Chinese Football Association. The limited-edition CFA Capsule Collection, which was developed for the China market, offers navy and white activewear, polo shirts, jackets, trainers and leather accessories inspired by the national soccer team’s off-field formal and casual attire, which Zegna has designed since 2016. A fuller assortment will be available by March.

“Special details of clothing and accessories reference the colors of the CFA Team China uniforms as support for the team, as they will compete in the Asia’s Top National Teams’ Tournament in January 2019,” the Milan-based company said.

Zegna said it will donate 5 percent for each capsule item sold through Jan. 31 to the company’s program for soccer lessons and the construction of a soccer field for a rural school in China.

In May, Zegna partnered with CFA on a talent-development program for young soccer players where three players were selected from China’s under-23 national team to receive professional training abroad. The players visited Rome in July and Zegna made a short documentary on the program that premiered on the brand’s web site and Tmall’s Luxury Pavilion’s brand channel today.

Lili Chen, general manager of Tmall Luxury Pavilion, said Zegna’s addition to the site “will allow the brand to better connect and interact with the new generation of consumers, and together explore unlimited possibilities for new retail.”

Tmall Luxury Pavilion launched in 2017 and offers about 80 brands, including Valentino, Burberry, Versace, Moschino, Stella McCartney and Givenchy. Products range from apparel and beauty items to watches and luxury cars.

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