ZegnArt in Rome
While in Paris last month for the Prêt-à-Porter, I happened to see a friend of mine who’s the social media specialist at Ermenegildo Zegna. He told me the Zegna team had a lovely proposition in mind: would I care to attend the company’s upcoming ZegnArt unveiling (and related celebrations) in Rome? There was no need to ask twice–I hadn’t been to Rome in a while, and I love the Zegna brand. They took care of all details, and on March 20, I arrived at the fab Hotel Boscolo Exedra Roma and was whisked right up to my room.
As I was to learn over the course of the next two days, Ermenegildo Zegna is an old family brand, committed to quality and fine workmanship, but it also has another focus–supporting art now, and for the future. The “big event” on March 21st would inaugurate an installation by Lucy and Jorge Orta entitled Fabulae Romanae (Roman Tales), commissioned by Zegna’s art foundation, ZegnArt, for Rome’s impressive new contemporary art museum– MAXXI.
For much of the first day, we were taken around Rome, including visits to the Coliseum, the Forum and other historic spots. In the early evening, we were offered a private tour of the Vatican–and since it had been years since I’d last visited, it was wonderful to see it again. That night, we attended a fabulous dinner at the Galleria Doria Pamphilj, in a privately-owned, 17th-century palace museum that is open to the public and also used for events. It’s a breathtaking, gemlike setting, and I, for one, was completely wowed!
The next day brought a press conference at the MAXXI Museum, where I found myself duly impressed by the ZegnArt Project’s philosophy: that art and fashion naturally go together. This relationship would be underscored by staging the event at MAXXI, with the support of London College’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion. And the commission itself, of course, was awarded by the Gruppo Ermenegildo Zegna–a fashion company steeped in tradition but still mindful of looking to the future, and integrating both points of view.
After the press conference, we headed to the Hotel de Russie for lunch in its well-known garden. This charming spot is the hotel’s best feature–and the glorious weather allowed us to relax and enjoy a delicious, al fresco meal.
Before that evening’s gala, my friend Yigit asked me to stop by the new Ermenegildo Zegna boutique to help dress a client for the party. The store, on Via dei Condotti, is very handsome–and it was nice to see those famous alligator shoes I love, along with a new collection of silk suits for men. As Gildo Zegna told me, men can wear silk, too. I insisted Riccardo try one on!
Our two days in Rome were capped off by a spectacular gala event, with 900 guests (and 300 journalists) from around the world meeting again at the MAXXI Museum (which, by the way, is a great place to throw a party). This time, everyone was dressed to the nines, and we were wined and dined royally. A well-known DJ, Philippe Cohen Solal (aka Gotan Project) came in from London, and he pumped up the volume so guests could dance!
Of course, I was sad when it was over: the two days raced by quickly, and we did a lot in a short time. Bravo, again, to everyone at Ermenegildo Zegna. By all reckoning, the event was a great success, and I had a wonderful time!
Photographs by Arnaud Paumier