Whichever way you look at it, Italian craftsmanship and skills rule the universe of men’s wear style and skills. And if French conglomerates buy into “Made in Italy,” that is a compliment rather than a signal for a fight.
MILAN — Against all the odds of the flailing euro, mountains of sovereign and personal debt and a general economic uneasiness, men’s wear is booming.
As Ermenegildo Zegna just opened the Milan winter 2012 men’s season, the company has recorded a 14 percent increase in sales in 2011, pushing total revenues to €1.1 billion, or $1.4 billion.
“We are coming out from a jolly good 2011,” says Gildo Zegna, the brand’s chief executive. “Beside the good news in Asia, we finally have double digit increase in the United States — and Europe, too, is doing fine because of a lot of visitors, from Russia, from Brazil and incredibly strong from China.”
The bad news? The French luxury companies have seized the opportunity to ally with Italian savoir-faire.
Between France and Italy, the men’s wear business is “ready-to-war.”