Zegna’s new program brings the runway to you

With the new approach, Zegna is able to shorten the gap between the runway show and the customer.

By Phoebe Neuman 03/02/2017

Luxury menswear giant Ermenegildo Zegna has stepped firmly into the future of the fashion industry with its latest collection. Fifteen looks from the January 13 runway show in Milan — the first under new artistic director and Berluti alum Alessandro Sartori — are now available for the brand's devotees for made-to-measure orders at select Ermenegildo Zegna boutiques around the world.

The Made to Measure runway program is a first for the 107-year-old brand, and with it Sartori joins ranks with luxury fashion houses such as Burberry and Tom Ford that have abandoned traditional production cycles in favour of a "see now, buy now" approach to their collections.

The shift to "see now, buy now" marks a departure from the industry's traditional schedule of showing collections up to six months before they become available in stores, with many designers opting to make some (or all) of their latest collections available to purchase immediately after the runway show.

This consumer-facing model comes as a response to social media's democratisation of fashion shows and shifting customer demands. The increased visibility of collections brought about by apps like Instagram have caused many collections to feel stale and over exposed by the time they actually become available to purchase.

With "see now, buy now," brands aim to keep pace with the rapid social media cycle, and shorten the gap between the runway show and the consumer. Zegna's bespoke approach to the fashion industry's changing climate marks the brand's continued commitment to its tailoring heritage and devoted client base.

After making an appointment at one of the nine select boutiques, clients can select pieces from the show ranging from relaxed-fitting top coats and bomber jackets to sharply tailored suits in rich, earthy hues to have tailored to fit them perfectly. Top coats start at $US4500 (about $A5930) and suits at $US5000 (about $A6590). Notes from the fitting are then sent to Ermenegildo Zegna's expert ateliers, and each hand-tailored piece will be delivered within six weeks (zegna.com).

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