Ermenegildo Zegna’s CEO fears the Italian luxury clothing group will not reach a full recovery in 2021 after the coronavirus crisis bit into industry-wide revenues last year, but is still confident of a strong recovery in the second half.
The ongoing rise in COVID-19 infections around the world is cooling growth expectations for the sector this year despite the start of vaccinations in many key markets.
“I think 2021 will be between 2019 and 2020 levels. It will certainly not be worse than last year. I dare not make more ambitious estimates, the first half of the year seems not easy,” CEO Gildo Zegna told reporters on the sidelines of a press conference for the autumn/winter 2021 collection.
“But we are certainly more ready than last year to face the situation,” he added.
In 2020, the group reported a drop in sales of just over 20%, Zegna said. “We managed to stay above 1 billion euros in revenues, which was my target, and preserve cash and keep a core profit thanks to cost cutting.”
China, where demand for luxury goods has rebounded strongly since the summer, and digital sales, which boomed during the pandemic “have been our lungs”, Zegna said.
The group kicked off Milan Men’s Fashion Week with a “fashion movie” released online.
Next winter’s collection was designed with new habits in mind as people spend more time at home.
More formal clothes have given way to fluid and unstructured ones, still very tailored and made with luxury fabrics. And for the first time, Zegna is offering the same clothes in smaller sizes for women.
“I think that in the future we will dress more and more ‘Silicon Valley style’, inside like outside, him like her,” Gildo Zegna stated, indicating the group’s strategy is moving from formal to more informal clothing.