An energetic collaboration in whichever sector, can only take form if the acumen of the factors involved are aligned for those in it. Many fashion houses are delving into this mode of communicating the essence of fashion design as conceived by a new generation of consumers. Successful streetwear luxury brands have made a huge impact in the direction fashion trends are headed. Big names in the luxury sector have come together with hyped streetwear designers to showcase works that are causing an admiration frenzy all around.
Fear of God and Ermenegildo Zegna are two giant power houses with very different aspects and characteristics in their creation portfolio, but yet, they are the latest on the podium of collaboration.
Luxury streetwear and the finest Italian tailoring, merging to shake both worlds with an impeccable collection, is both genius and evolutionary.
Fear of God
Jerry Lorenzo is the founder and mastermind behind the brand Fear of God. His humble attitude and Christian up-bringing are the drivers that have curved the brands’ name. The solidified aesthetics, that he calls ‘chic grunge’, deftly blend rock n roll and religious references into deceptively simple garments. He loves what he does and prefers to be seen that way, rather than a designer per se.
He is known not to follow the norm of scheduled seasonal releases. He showcases his collections when his gut-feeling tells him so. He introduces the collections with videos that elaborate the ideas behind them.
The contemporary vibe of his threads is characterised by layering and the oversized silhouettes. These have had celebrities hire him to be part of their creative teams.
The brand has grown to become one of the most coveted luxury streetwear brands with names like Kanye West, Justin Bieber and Virgil Abloh having been involved with the mastery behind Fear of God.
Lorenzo’s determination and faith have seen Fear of God grow to a brand that has a reputable international recognition.
The Fear of God x Nike collaboration in the past and which were aimed at honouring both brands’ uniqueness in their approach to design, was a step in the right direction for Jerry Lorenzo. The experience he has gathered in working together with other big designers, is the wheel that is driving him to meet new and unforeseen collaborations like his latest with Zegna.
Lorenzo says that his intention is to always create clothing that could be inserted smoothly and seamlessly into a wardrobe that is already in place. His toned-down beliefs are empathetic and woo many to his side.
This Italian luxury house founded by its’ namesake Ermenegildo Zegna in 1910, is renowned for its sartorial elegance in the men’s wear niche. Through its’ generational heirdom, it has carried an authenticity that brands it as an Italian luxury for the man of style.
In 2016, Alessandro Sartori, returned to the Maison and was appointed Artistic Director after having been creative director at Z Zegna (an affiliate of the Ermenegildo Zegna Group) before and serving as artistic director at Berluti respectively.
Sartori is known for his multigenerational way of designing and is accoladed by many in the fashion arena. His works grace theatrical stages and film sets. It is possible that he is not known to many, but after this collaboration with Fear of God, that is going to definitely change.
Couture is the pinnacle of what Ermenegildo Zegna has to offer. The modern man is provided with a complete lifestyle wardrobe characterized by handmade rich luxurious details and an exclusive range of fabrics.
The Ermenegildo Zegna Group has four classifications that categorize their different design concepts:
- Ermenegildo Zegna
With two defining styles, ‘Sartoria’, a classical Italian style that redefines traditional tailoring and contemporary elegance and ‘Informale’ being the sophisticated and chic leisurewear expression of the house.
- Ermenegildo Zegna – Su Misura
This is the group’s exclusive made-to-wear service that makes it possible to produce tailor-made suits, leather garments, jackets, pants, coats, shirts and ties in a period of just a few weeks for its’ customers.
- Z Zegna
Here the modern man who is looking for an eclectic masculine and fresh style, without discarding the traditional, has his designs catered for.
The Zegna group also embraces the woman with creative and fascinating styles that have that manly element.
A Godly Fusion
The two houses with aesthetic expressions that are worlds apart, found a mutual ground to reinvent an unexpected flair in a collaboration, which was launched at the Paris Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2020, officially entitled Fear of God Exclusively for Ermenegildo Zegna.
Alessandro Sartori and Jerry Lorenzo married American luxury streetwear with the Italian heritage of best tailoring and craftsmanship. This was to establish a timeless collection rooted in freedom, sophistication and elegance.
This collaboration that is apt to go into the history books of fashion, has given life to a new form of hybrid elegance and independent style that is a style-ask of the new and older generation brackets alike.
Sartori describes his design studio to be an on-going experimental laboratory where innovation, craft and fabric technique are implemented to conceive the garments we see from this Maison. This vision is carried forward in the collaboration with Fear of God in full justification.
A Sartorial X Streetwear Explosion in Paris
The bounds of the luxury fashion and streetwear teaming up are both broader and more nebulous than ever. The street meets sartorial is yet another merge that is ready to recapture what the consumer is eagerly waiting for from the realms of the design creatives.
With other designers like Gucci paving the way and helping in the test work of how these collaborations might be perceived, the indications that are pretty positive, are injecting more adrenaline into the creative veins of many houses out there. The aura of the anticipation in question is riveting to say the least.
Fear of God x Ermenegildo Zegna fusion in Paris just the other day, was yet another fabulous display of what teaming up different fashion traditions can culminate.
Lorenzo believes that both he and Sartori instinctually knew about the gap between what was happening culturally and in traditional tailoring, way before they even met.
They both looked at the man today and what his needs would be. They asked themselves, how it would be possible to maintain a man’s identity without having to change from a sweat suit to a tailored piece and not lose his point of view in that change. This was a strong criterion for them to consider at the initiation phase of the collaboration.
The idea of collaborations, is not entirely new in the current fashion landscape, but the drive to bridge that divide was ignited by the two houses, like never before.
Sartori doesn’t think that there is an empty niche in this kind of concept, because he believes there is everything out there. What he believes is that, the level of quality, craftsmanship and the artisanal type of work that the collaboration is adhering to, could literally say something different from what we see in offer when two forces in the design world meet.
The merge translates pieces like suits and topcoats with the traditional Zegna luxury that are given a twist with oversized shoulders and absent lapels. Extra-long braided belts are tied instead of buckled, over-shirts with double pockets that are calmed down with luxurious soft suede fabrics and knitted pullovers emit a blend of vintage and modern.
The collection was given a natural accent with neutral colours that culminated a sensual feeling of calm, making it wearable for all spectrums.
Denim jeans and western ankle boots were also part of the genius ensemble.
Sartori described the collaborative process as that of two establishments that have come together but that are acting as a new start-up with many fresh ideas and goals. He was also adamant of the fact that the collection, which is made in the Zegna workshops, is not about standout pieces but rather that of a complete idea.
Additionally, Lorenzo clarified that the collaboration was a new story that was being told and was not there to weigh how much of Zegna or Fear of Fashion it contained.
Gender Inclusivity in Menswear
Lorenzo designs menswear but always keeps women in mind, loves the way women project men’s clothes. Powerful looks were seen on women at this collection in Paris despite the fact that both labels are strictly seen as menswear designers.
The idea of an aesthetic that is free from pre-built models and gender paradigms made itself seen as the female side effortlessly galvanized awe rendering pieces.
Two Genius Minds, Genuinely
The long-distance conversations between Milan and Los Angeles reinvented proportions and silhouettes that blend Ermenegildo Zegna’s traditional excellence in tailoring and the sophisticated leisurewear of Fear of God.
“We have worked with great balance, without our ego’s ever surpassing one another, to create a unique new wardrobe. A perfect synthesis of our two souls: clothes to wear at any time of the day in order to feel good. And this is only the beginning, as our conversation has just begun,” Alessandro Sartori explained.
The combination of subtle and not-so-subtle elements is governing the design structures of where designs are headed. These collaborations can actually be seen as foundation stones of what individual designers have to refer to in the creation of future collections.
Defined garment silhouettes have been a reference point in the mode of past design factoring. As we edge forward in a world that has moved on technologically and socially, the stems of change are inevitable as far as garment reconstruction goes.
Will the pockets get larger perhaps, or rounder and tinier? Only time can tell.
The Fear of God x Ermenegildo Zegna collection will be commercially available from September 2020 and distributed through a selection of Zegna boutiques, both their websites and selected outlets worldwide.