Italian men’s fashion brand Ermenegildo Zegna recently announced that the brand will commence its global repositioning in China. The “One Brand” strategy, which started in 2021 in Europe and North America, aims to reshape the public perception of the fashion house and move towards becoming one of the top luxury brands.
Zegna Group CEO Gildo Zegna shared that he has visited China with his team 3 times this year. He commented that the speed of repositioning in China is lagging compared to other markets and said: “We are starting to move the Zegna business [from an] accessible price point to real luxury”. Although the brand is not what many would call affordable (a T-shirt might set you back 4000 RMB or around 560 USD), too many Zegna outlets with discount prices have damaged the luxury status of the brand.
After completing its acquisition of Tom Ford Fashion earlier this year, the luxury group has solidified the positioning of its 3 brands: Zegna positioned as quiet luxury, Tom Browne as modern tailoring and Tom Ford Fashion as luxury glamour. Zegna stores at Beijing China World Mall and Shanghai IFC Mall are the number 1 and 4 stores in the world in terms of “uber luxury penetration” in store revenue. The brand also unveiled a pop-up space at Taikoo Li in Chengdu this year.
China is the most important region for the group. In the first three quarters of 2023, revenue in Greater China grew 15.3% year-on-year to 419 million EUR (452.26 USD), 31.5% of the revenue of the entire group. Having opened its first store in China in 1991, Zegna was one of the first luxury brands to enter China after the economic reform started in the late 1970s. After educating generations of luxury consumers, the followers of the brand started to show age and fatigue. This is partly due to more options being available and partly because there was not enough variety in men’s fashion, especially from classic brands such as Zegna.
However, data shows that new customers the brand has acquired since 2019 are 7 years younger, spend 58% more, make 25% more repeat purchases and wait 2.5 times less time between purchases compared to old regulars. Hopefully, this new generation of Zegna customers will lead the way for Zegna to reach the top of the luxury hierarchy.