Zegna Opens National China Flagship In Second-Tier Shenyang

Shenyang Location Zegna’s Fourth Flagship In China

Actors Nicky Wu (2nd right) and Tong Liya (2nd left) attend the grand opening in Shenyang

Actors Nicky Wu (2nd right) and Tong Liya (2nd left) attend the grand opening in Shenyang

Coming off its 20th anniversary in the China market, this past weekend the premium Italian brand Ermenegildo Zegna held the grand opening of its fourth China flagship — and new national flagship — in the northeastern luxury hotspot Shenyang.

A relatively early entrant to the China luxury market, and one of the country’s most popular menswear brands, Zegna has opened over 75 stores in nearly 40 cities since debuting in China in 1991. As Jing Daily pointed out last fall, Zegna posted annual sales growth of around 30 percent between 2006-2010, reaching net revenue of US$79.2 million in 2010, well above the $24 million it raked in in 2009. Currently, Asia sales account for 46 percent of Zegna’s total global revenue, led by China, which itself accounted for 30 percent of the brand’s $1.27 billion in global sales in 2010.

Taking over a 506 square meter space at Shenyang’s MixC mall, the new national Zegna flagship was, like other locations in China and around the world, designed by architect Peter Marino. Like the brand’s most recent flagship in Hangzhou, the location is split up into three sections for each of Zegna’s brands: Ermenegildo Zegna suits and accessories, Z Zegna, and Z Sport, each of which gets its own distinctive design touches. However, as in Hangzhou, suiting — and, more specifically, made-to-measure — is the star of this location.

As usual, Zegna made sure to include a special event at this past weekend’s opening ceremony. Taking a different direction than the leathergoods exhibition shown at the Hangzhou grand opening, guests in Shenyang took part in a presentation entitled “A Passion for Silk,” which included a demonstration of the silk-making process from weaving to dying and garment construction. VIPs at the ribbon-cutting included actress Tong Liya (佟丽娅) and Taiwanese actor and singer Nicky Wu (吴奇隆).

Though it continues to open more (and more lavish) flagships in China, Zegna is far from the only Italian luxury brand to pin more of its hopes on emerging markets. As the FT pointed out this week, premium Italian fashion and accessories brands continue to look to Asia as a source of strength amid disappointing sales at home. Last week, Prada reported a 72 percent increase in profits in 2011 to €432 million (US$574.5 million) on the back of strong Asian demand. Since listing on the Hong Kong stock market last year, Prada shares have risen 40 percent, far outpacing a the Hang Seng’s 12 percent aggregate rise. Salvatore Ferragamo and Versace have also announced record sales growth in Asia, with new boutiques slated for the Greater China market over the course of 2012.