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Z Zegna looks to L.A.

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Z Zegna, the decade-old younger and more fashion-forward label from 113-year-old Italian luxury brand Ermenegildo Zegna, has chosen Los Angeles as the home of its first standalone store in North America, 1,600 square feet of brushed aluminum, lacquered wood and polished gray stone in the Beverly Center that opened its doors March 2.

The brand's creative director, Paul Surridge, a 38-year-old whose CV includes stints at Calvin Klein, Burberry and Jil Sander, was in town a few days ago to mark the occasion and explain why the label chose the City of Angels for its first U.S. store.

"For me, L.A. is all about the lifestyle," Surridge said. "We already have a very established wear-to-work business, and this is part of expanding [the perception of] Z Zegna into a complete wardrobe, so it makes sense since Los Angeles is this really cool place that feels very contemporary and fashion-forward. You've got the [entertainment] industry, the stylists. If we can make this work and make this hot, I think [further] retail rollout will be easier."

Z Zegna: A March 10 article about Z Zegna's new Beverly Center store said parent company Ermenegildo Zegna is 113 years old. The company is 103 years old. —

There are six other standalone Z Zegna boutiques — one in Italy and five in China. In the U.S. the line has sold through the company's Ermenegildo Zegna boutiques and at high-end department stores.

The new space will showcase the full range of Z Zegna offerings — including tailored clothing, sportswear, small leather goods, footwear, accessories and fragrances — in a way a multi-brand department store cannot.

Although the Z Zegna collection is offered at slightly more wallet-friendly prices than at the flagship label, don't expect the Italian luxury to come cheap. A polo shirt will run you $225, for example; a dress shirt $195. A fashion-forward raincoat can clock in at $1,195, and a navy blue, wool, two-button suit will run you $1,295 (by comparison, a basic Ermenegildo Zegna suit starts at $2,395).

The store is stocked with Z Zegna's spring-summer 2013 collection, the second under Surridge's direction and one that serves as a perfect introduction to the L.A. environment. The offerings incorporate silhouettes vaguely inspired by '60s-era leisure wear, a lightweight feel and a warm-weather color palette of white, khaki and a range of cool blue hues from dark navy suits to knit sweaters in a shade of nearly neon turquoise that feels like Southern California sunlight filtered through a Hollywood Hills pool.

Z Zegna at the Beverly Center, 8500 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 855-9619.

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