Dialogues: Alessandro Sartori of Ermenegildo Zegna

Dialogues: Alessandro Sartori of Ermenegildo Zegna

Alessandro Sartori is the Artistic Director of the Italian luxury group Ermenegildo Zegna. Recently, we partnered with Zegna on Zegna Toyz, an exclusive new collection of men’s accessories, entertainment, and home products created in Pelle Tessuta, an innovative woven leather fabric made from thin strips of micro leather.

We had the opportunity to sit down with Sartori to talk about the collection, what it’s like to be artistic director of Zegna, his favorite part of the job, and the role music plays in his creative process.

What is a typical day like for you?

It’s not about a typical day anymore. [My main role is] designing a collection, which has a lot of processes, from designing, to working on the fittings, to styling, to building the looks for advertising, catalogues, and windows. And the collection itself is not the only thing we’re working on. We have a lot of projects, a lot of capsules, a lot of collaborations like [Zegna Toyz], and that is really exciting because each time is like a chapter that you open; you enter, and you [work] until the project is completed.

What’s your favorite part of the job?

The work years ago was mainly designing and styling. Today you need to start from a concept and of course design and style, but mostly you have to envision the full artistic vision: the image, the windows, the events, the celebrity dressing, and so on. I love all of this; but ultimately, dressing people is the part I love the most.

Alessandro Sartori

What is your personal style like?

I think it’s exactly what I’m designing, which is an artistic vision of a sports couture silhouette with tailoring elements. I blend different ideas into a modern men’s wardrobe.

Does music play a role in your creative process at all?

Absolutely. Not only because I love it, but because it’s a very inspiring part of my work. There are so many groups I love, from the very known, to composers who are not that famous, but who are doing beautiful music. But generally, I would say electronic music is what attracts me the most.

Normally always it’s on; it’s never the TV, it’s always music. It’s the first thing I do in the morning or when I’m back at home at night: plug my device in and listen to music.

Ermenegildo Zegna x Master & Dynamic from the Zegna Toyz collection.

Tell us about the collaboration with Master & Dynamic.

I loved the idea of blending the craft and modernity. The idea of the beautiful artisans and the beautiful Pelle Tessuta, which is this fantastic creation, the amazing techniques and technology that come from [the headphones]—I spent all the time I could on it.

What do you like about working on a collaborative project as opposed to working alone?

It’s a different vision compared to normal work, not only because you’re composing something and working on an existing tool, changing it, but working on something that has a DNA already. It’s an interpretation of an object with a different eye.

What advice would you give to any young designers?

I think it is really important to not stop yourself right when the work is done. I think there is always a lot of room to improve. Actually, the best part of the work is improving something you did already. Sometimes it’s very tiring,because it’s not only time consuming, but it means that when you think you’re finished, you need to redo it. You have to see the possibilities to do it better.

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