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Thu 12 Jul 2018 02:58 PM

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5 minutes with Gildo Zegna

The CEO of Ermenegildo Zegna for over a decade talks about his life outside of the family fashion house

5 minutes with Gildo Zegna
Gildo Zegna is the grandson of founder Ermenegildo

What is a day in your life like? Give us a glimpse into your daily routine.

As you can likely imagine, I often travel for business and am outside Italy for fairly long periods at times. When I’m not travelling, however, I like to wake up early and read national and international newspapers before going into the office. I stay in the office until late afternoon, pausing to eat a light lunch around midday and often sharing this time with other executives to discuss strategies and operational plans.

I tend to devote a lot of time to these types of internal meetings, because I think it is useful to compare the progress of our business and the outlook of the markets in general. I usually end my day in the office around 7.30pm, but also take time after dinner to do a bit of work when I’m back at home.

What do you do in your spare time?

I devote most of my free time to skiing. Sport is a passion I continue to pursue on multiple levels; long walks during the weekend, skiing during the winter months and occasional holidays aboard a sailboat in the summer. I also enjoy visiting art galleries, especially those focused on contemporary art. I could add that my cousin Paolo [Zegna] and I share a passion for vintage cars and we try to find the time to participate in rallies when we can.

What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?

I am very fortunate that my grandfather [brand founder] Ermenegildo Zegna, my father and my uncle left us with a great heritage of savoir faire in craftsmanship, entrepreneurship and loyalty to our ethics and values. I’m not quite sure who said it first, but the recurring advice that we live by [at Zegna] is, ‘Strong families make strong companies and strong companies make for strong families.’

What is your go-to look?

I always wear Zegna. I like formal suits and love wearing them, especially made-to-measure suits that let me personally choose the fabrics, linings and buttons. I also continue to wear a tie, which I believe is necessary on formal occasions. On weekends or when I travel, I wear casual clothes, and I’ve become a big fan of Techmerino performance clothing, which I can also wear when practicing sport. Finally, I admittedly have a passion for shoes, which I consider to be a distinctive sign of masculine elegance for gentlemen.

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