Anna Zegna has a well-disciplined eye for detail. As the granddaughter of Ermenegildo Zegna she’s expected to claim so, but this isn’t the kind of eye for detail that has a preference for one button over another. It’s the kind that prevents her from doing a sit-down interview in the new Ermenegildo Zegna store at Crystals at CityCenter without noticing an uneven pant leg on a nearby mannequin. A pant leg that’s uneven by a whisper of a hair.
"Details are essential in our world," she says while a Zegna staffer straightens out the mannequin situation.
As the image director for one of the most reputable luxury menswear brands in the world, it’s her job to notice these things. It’s also her job to agonize over the paper on which Zegna catalogs are printed and the precise shade of brown the store’s carpets will bear.
To most, they would seem like insignificant choices. To the woman charged with controlling the public’s perception of a brand with a solid 100-year-old reputation, they are everything. A fashion brand’s success, after all, starts and ends with its image. When you have a product that can boast five-digit price tags, it becomes even more important. Zegna’s excellent image could very well explain why it has more than 500 stores worldwide, two of which are here in Vegas (the original store is in the Forum Shops at Caesars and recently reopened with 65 percent more space).
Today, image for fashion companies can be as easy or as difficult as a celebrity donning its product. Easy if the celebrity aligns with the image they wish to portray. Difficult if he/she doesn’t. Some companies have gone so far as to bestow unsavory celebrities with the competition’s goods to pre-empt them from being photographed with their own. While Anna’s focus on the details has quite the reach, she concentrates on her stores’ carpets, not red carpets.
"We’re not chasing celebrities as a brand strategy," she says. "We like to create a relationship, but people are dressing in Zegna because they love it."
That includes Tom Brady, the New England Patriots quarterback who wed model wife Gisele Bundchen in a Zegna suit. While that kind of exposure takes the brand’s awareness to new heights, Anna says it’s the high-profile businessmen and high-powered politicians who act as the real trendsetters. A made-to-measure suit of the highest quality fabrics looks arguably better in a boardroom or behind a podium than on the pages of Us Weekly.
Those are outside driving forces, though. During Anna’s current visit to Las Vegas she’s more concerned with the tangible, controllable details she can see and touch for herself. For instance, the leather railing that leads from the first level of the 7,500-square-foot store to the second. Or the metallic strands stretching from floor to ceiling, mimicking the looms responsible for the brand’s coveted fabrics. Or the pinstriped concrete on the floor that greets customers.
Every wall, shelf, flooring area and door offers a new, exciting texture. Like the clothes in the store, each feature begs to be touched, something renowned architect Peter Marino set out to accomplish. And, of course, something Anna closely followed to ensure it came to fruition.
"(The store) is a tribute to the past in a modern way," says Anna. "We keep impeccable representation worldwide."
Ermenegildo Zegna is located inside Crystals at CityCenter, 560-5837.