Fashion at the Zegna Mansion

Anders Overgaard

The house that Ermenegildo built is the ideal setting for highlighting his company's exquisite tailoring.

“These rooms have always been the center of our family,” says Anna Zegna. Here, explains Ermenegildo Zegna’s granddaughter, he created the eponymous Italian clothing company from this very palazzo and adjoining factories in Trivero, Italy, a small alpine village not far from the Swiss border. Today Anna and her brother, CEO Gildo Zegna, run the family’s $1.28 billion business from the company’s molto contemporary offices in Milan, some two hours away. Anna, Director of Image, recently gave departures the key to the family kingdom. And a very rare gift it was, especially for an outsider. “Please just be careful—it’s so personal, and some things are so fragile,” said the always elegant Anna. After all, this was the first time a magazine has actually been allowed inside the villa since Ermenegildo started the company, 100 years ago. “My very first memories of my grandfather are in this house,” Anna says, remembering the man who would turn a tiny wool-and-tailoring shop into one of the great global fashion houses of the 21st century. “For me this will always be where we celebrated Christmas and Easter, and my grandfather will, as always, be sitting at the head of the table.”