Zegna and The Elder Statesman’s The Oasis of Cashmere Comes to LA – WWD

It is a meeting of passions – the passions of Kashmir.

Zegna and actor Daniel Bruhl, the face of The Elder Statesman Partnership, announced the words. First unveiled during Paris Fashion Week in February, the collaborative project is now launching its campaign. Bruhl lends his voice, but at the heart of the story are Zegna’s art director Alessandro Sartori and The Elder Statesman’s Greg Seid.

Bruhl describes the work as „a combination of Zegna’s craftsmanship and The Elder Statesman’s speed and spontaneity of color.” He is immersed in Oasi Zegna, a forest in the Italian Alps and home to Zegna’s woolen mill.

LA-based Syed said of her first visit to the 100-square-kilometer landscape.

The designer sat in a suite with Sartori at Sunset Tower on Tuesday morning. The duo, who met through mutual friends, are co-hosting a celebratory event at Maxfield, one of the collaboration’s retail partners, and a VIP dinner in the Hollywood Hills.

First look at Zegna x The Elder Statesman campaign with actor Daniel Brühl.

Courtesy of Zegna x The Elder Statesman

In 1910 brand founder Ermenegildo Zegna planted the first tree in the area surrounding the factory, and according to the company, more than 500,000 now stand tall. This history and connection with nature through the site is the message behind the new images. The star is Kashmiri yarn, in this case from Mongolia.

„To see the school of spinning and dyeing and washing, all the processes before what the yarn does are very strange,” Sartori said. „That’s beautiful.” (Jegna has pledged to certify its Oasi Kashmir as fully discoverable by 2024.)

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„I don’t think enough can be said about that,” Sade said. „Because most people don’t really talk about it. But the fiber selection and the idea behind making the yarn, I feel like a lot of work goes into what it’s supposed to do. Most people don’t really know that. But it’s a really important part.

In a statement about the collaboration, Bruhl made sure to highlight Yassi Zegna: “The vision that Ermenegildo established a hundred years ago continues to this day. A place where breathtaking nature and the people who live and work there are respected and admired. If you visit Oasi Jegna, you will see the dedicated, passionate expertise of everyone working for Jegna. Every thread, every button, every detail is handmade. The philosophy of the Zegna family and the creative leadership of Alessandro Sartori is what makes Zegna men’s fashion so special.”

Greg Sade of Elder Statesman and Zegna Creative Director Alessandro Sartori poses for a portrait at the Sunset Tower Hotel on September 5, 2023 in West Hollywood, California.

Seen from Zegna and The Elder Statesman partnership.

Michael Buckner/WWD

Valuing craftsmanship is at the core of the project. Zegna has decades of luxury know-how, Sartori brings a modern touch. Elder Statesman has been celebrated for its handmade cashmere sweaters in psychedelic colors and prints since it was launched by Chait in LA in 2007.

„They say it takes a village,” Said said of the collaboration process with Zegna. „So, a lot of people worked to make this happen.”

That includes Bailey Hunter, Creative Director of The Elder Statesman.

Together they have created a vibrant knit line. When using a palette reminiscent of the coastal West Coast – California meets Italian sophistication easily – there is a playfulness: fire orange, bright yellow, forest green and sea blue but sun-bleached hues. It features unisex, cardigans, t-shirts, pants and accessories. Items include yellow-green sweatpants in silk and cashmere for $3,550; a striped multicolored polo sweater in cashmere and wool for $2,350; A wool bucket hat is $450, and alpaca loafers are $1,390.

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The fit, oversized „but not too big,” Sartori noted, „came from a very similar point of view—we like the idea that as a woman you can borrow pieces from your boyfriend, brother, partner, friend. We like the idea that some clothes look good in one size.” Sure, you can buy a size small or large, but there are many, many good pieces that are the same size for many different people…you have the perfect ratio of being comfortable and cool.

Asked what they appreciate most about each other’s approach to using cashmere, the two honed in on their shared love of artistry and technique.

„I’m a fiber nerd and a manufacturing nerd, and I’ve known what Zegna has been doing for a long time,” Sade said. „When they go into a fiber or expand into a fiber, I know it’s a full 360, 100 percent holistic approach. That’s what I enjoyed.”

„The senior family, they all have the same human touch and passion and passion to work,” Sartori said. „Sometimes it’s a very long process. In the end, the product looks beautiful… but behind it is a whole story of experience and people and trained hands and human emotions.

Daniel Bruhl for Zegna x The Elder Statesman.

Courtesy of Zegna x The Elder Statesman

Chet said that a factory has a certain electrical potential.

„It’s amazing to see the crazy — crazy in a good way — to see the crazy look in the eyes of the people working at the facility,” continued Sade of his visit to Italy. „From their point of view, you can tell. You can go to places and see who’s really interested. It’s really like a Michelin star kitchen. There’s a lot of coverage in today’s world about food, so you can see it on 'The Bear’ or whatever. But that intensity Happening behind the scenes.

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Keeping that talent alive is critical, they echoed.

„A great one [worries] What we have is we lose that knowledge when those people retire,” Sartori said. „We continue to work and invest in building. They can [share] Then someone else has that knowledge. This is one of the reasons why many people in the factory are of the same generation, grandfather, father and son.

„We have the same model, obviously smaller, but we have the same thing,” Chet snapped. „That’s why I knew we were kindred spirits when we connected that way.”

„We share a vision of love for what we do and a vision of always protecting,” Sartori said, „and of course, [there are] There’s more to come.”

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