Ermenegildo Zegna, a global leader in luxury menswear, has opened a flagship store on Tmall Luxury Pavilion, marking the launch with an exclusive collection created with the Chinese Football Association.
The Pavilion, Alibaba Group’s dedicated site for premium brands, is Zegna’s first official third-party digital channel in the market, apart from its own site. The move comes as China is poised to overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest fashion market next year, according to global consulting firm McKinsey & Co.
The limited-edition CFA Capsule Collection, developed specifically for the China market, includes navy and red activewear, T-shirts, jackets, sneakers and leather accessories inspired by the national football team’s off-field formal and casual attire, which have been designed by Zegna since 2016.
The Milan-based group designed certain details of the clothing and accessories to reference the colors of the CFA Team China uniforms as a support for the team, which will compete in the Asia’s Top National Teams’ Tournament in January 2019.
Following the capsule launch, Zegna said Pavilion shoppers would be able to access a full assortment of its products by March next year.
Zegna was the first luxury menswear brand to enter China, opening its first boutique in Beijing in 1991. Now, China is a leading market of Zegna’s business, with a network of over 60 physical stores in 34 of Chinese cities, including remote but fast-growing locations such as Xinjiang’s capital of Urumqi.
Lili Chen, general manager of Tmall Luxury Pavilion, said Zegna was an iconic brand that had successfully balanced its longstanding heritage with those innovations.
“We’re confident that our partnership will allow the brand to better connect and interact with the new generation of consumers, and together explore unlimited possibilities for New Retail,” she said, noting also the brand’s dedication to charitable causes.
The fashion house said it would donate 5% for each capsule item sold on the Luxury Pavilion between Dec. 4 and Jan. 31 to “Rising Star,” a joint program between Tmall and Zegna that aims to develop young soccer players in China.
Prior to the capsule collection launch, the brand also partnered with CFA on a talent-development program that was aimed at empowering young, emerging football players launched in May. Players selected by the brand and CFA are offered the chance to receive professional training abroad. In July, the program funded three players aged between 17-18 from China’s under-23 national team to attend a training program in Rome. The trip was made into a short documentary premiering on Zegna’s official site and Tmall Luxury Pavilion’s “What’s on Live” channel, a new section on its homepage for featured brand videos, on Dec. 7.
Launched in 2017, Tmall Luxury Pavilion now offers about 80 brands, including Valentino, Burberry, Versace, Moschino, Stella McCartney, Giuseppe Zanotti, MCM, La Mer, Maserati, Kering Group-owned Qeelin, LVMH-owned Guerlain, Givenchy, Tag Heuer and Zenith. Products range from apparel and beauty items to watches and luxury cars.