Just over forty years old, Alberto Zanone is considered an innovator in high quality knitwear, on the strength of over twenty years of experience combined with a great desire to invest in design.
It is first and foremost a way of thinking rather than a business approach, leading to the creation of not only Zanone – set up in 1986 – but also Opos – with the famous competition for young designers, Under 35 and exhibitions on different themes which have been takingplace since 1991 – and Fibre Tibet – a knitwear collection in cashmere and yak wool which was born out of a non profit making scheme by the Bridge Fund. Fromtextiles to product design, always in the name of high quality design, “of a certain desired marginality” – as Alberto Zanone takes pleasure in defining it – “from following a personal path without submitting to the particular conditioning brought by the logic of the market” Utopia? For many yes. But in the case of Zanone it is a utopia which also works from a commercial point of view.
Shawl with pockets, Fibre Tibet collection
A passion cultivated since high school lead Alberto Zanone to become artistic consultant for various fashion houses, specialising mostly in knitwear but also in textiles. This was up until the presentation of his first knitwear collection for men and women in 1987, characterised immediately by a discreet and “understated” style of garments using only natural fibres dyed in modern but subdued colours and made using a sophisticated technology which has been the result of research and experimentation. The design office and showroom are in Milan, whilst the factory is in a village near Biella, Zanone’s place of origin.
“Ours is a brand with a strong identity – explains Alberto – but orientated towards people who have a certain awareness about product quality. A characteristic which is little present in the world of high fashion where one tends increasingly, also in terms of communication, to compensate for the lack of individual personality with strong statements. Our buyer wants a product which is not intrusive, that maybe you don’t notice so much but inside there is something. It is a different approach from that requested, even though our brand is present in the same shops where Armani is sold”.
Woman sweater of the Fibre Tibet collection, 80% yak and 20% wool
The same style is seen in the Zanone shop windows (in Milan in via della Spiga and in viale Elvezia), where the display is a version of the notion of the glowing picture with the knitwear folded within it – to isolate and place attention on the product on display – and fluorescent lights which highlight the colour and texture of the garments.
Read more ...