If you’ve been to Paragon Shopping Centre recently, you might have noticed that the Zegna boutique has a new space and look. Instead of glass windows, the brand has wrapped its digs up in LED screens. And, contrary to popular fashion business wisdom, the Italian luxury brand has opted not to air videos of its runway collections.
Instead, what plays on those video screens are sweeping panoramas of the lush mountains and greenery of Oasi Zegna. It’s a major cornerstone of the 112-year-old brand’s vision for its future, and what it’s based its recent runway collections around. Oasi Zegna is, essentially, a 100 square-kilometre nature park in the Biella Alps of Piemonte, Northern Italy that the brand owns. It’s freely accessible and has been, since it was officially inaugurated in 1993, a key part of Zegna’s commitment to nature and the environment.
The story, intriguingly, dates back much further. The brand’s namesake founder, Ermenegildo Zegna, began a project of environmental restoration way back in the 1930s by creating a road to connect the family business’ wool mill (Zegna was originally a textiles manufacturer, and remains a leading supplier of luxury fabrics today) and the community of the area.
So it only makes sense that the brand is deepening its connection with nature – the very source of its prestigious materials. Oasi Cashmere, the brand’s latest collection, takes smart advantage of that as well as the fact that Zegna is uniquely positioned as a vertically-integrated business to make some lasting change. To wit, Oasi Cashmere is positioned as a central development of the brand’s “Road to Traceability” program, which aims to make 100 percent of the cashmere it uses certified traceable by 2024.
In the face of hype and logos, Zegna is thus operating on the very fundamental idea that beautiful clothes have to be cut from beautiful fabrics. The Oasi Cashmere collection is a great example of this. The line is all about understated luxury in simple, timeless styles like overshirts, crewneck sweaters and hoodies. Rather than splashy design, the quality of the cashmere speaks for itself.
You have to feel cashmere to really appreciate it. There’s an incredible softness to these pieces, and they come this season in Earthy colours inspired by the beauty and harmony of nature. Read: vibrant and lively yet subdued enough to find a lasting place in your everyday rotation.
There’s also something to be said about how easy to wear these core styles are. Artistic director Alessandro Sartori has been on a mission in recent seasons to unpack and redefine menswear codes. Rather than separate and divide categories like formal and casual, he has instead gone the middle path of hybrids. The overshirt, for example, has become a must-have Zegna item. It’s perfectly ambiguous: cut in the easygoing look and style of a chore jacket, yet crafted from luxurious fabrics like cashmere and vicuña that visibly and distinguishably elevates it.
The rest of the Oasi Cashmere collection is just as appealingly straightforward. Cashmere sweaters and hoodies are veritable investment pieces, the latter a truly elevated take on relaxed sports and leisurewear. In addition to the autumn/winter 2022 season's more vibrant palette, there are also classic colourways like navy blue, dark purple, pure white, and camel.
The clothes are beautiful to be sure, but what really sets this line apart is a responsibility to traceability that goes deeper than product. A QR code is enclosed in all Oasi Cashmere clothing that showcases the entire journey that, say, a sweater has taken from the cashmere farm all the way to the stores – a chain of events that the brand endearingly dubs “goat to garment”.
Zegna’s Oasi Cashmere collection is available at the brand’s boutiques in Paragon Shopping Centre and The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, and online. Discover the Oasi Cashmere journey by scanning this QR code.