The century-old, family-owned Italian menswear brand Ermenegildo Zegna took a risk when it hired the former Yves Saint Laurent designer Stefano Pilati and gave him free rein to reimagine the Couture collection, its top-tier line of tailored clothing. But the risk has paid off. Pilati’s first line, for spring 2014, presents a refreshing new aesthetic for the storied brand. The suits, which have a starting price of just under $5,000, are softer and more relaxed than those of previous collections. They are made with jacquard micro-patterns in cream, gray, and blue, and the jackets for some of the suits are made with fabrics that are slightly different from those of the trousers. The suits can be layered with the collection’s fine-gauge sweaters, buttonless shirts, and fluid topcoats cinched with buttoned belts. The new Couture, which will debut globally in 30 Ermenegildo Zegna stores, may be a departure for the brand, but the line has an overriding simplicity that should make it accessible to Zegna loyalists, even as it entices a more fashion-forward following.
Ermenegildo Zegna, www.zegna.com