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Dare e Avere: from accounting records to Zegna philosophy in a work of art


Dare/Avere” is the title of a work created under the ZegnArt contemporary art project for the opening of the new boutique in London, in New Bond Street. Ermenegildo Zegna’s first single-brand store in London – opened in 1987- has now been reopened after 20 months of renovation work planned by architect Peter Marino.

Designed by South African artist William Kentridge, the “Dare/Avere” tapestry is steeped in the history and values of Ermenegildo Zegna and drew inspiration from documents in the Zegna archives.

Starting out with photos of the founder (showing accessories he used everyday, such as his cane and hat), Kentridge gives his view of the company’s history by interweaving places and objects in an artwork that deftly re-assembles the values and quality that have characterized the Zegna brand for over 100 years.

The figure of Ermenegildo Zegna, stylized in black outlines (a recurring feature in this artist’s work), stands out against a background that underscores his bonds with the territory of Trivero, where he founded the wool mill way back in 1910 and where the noble fibers that go to produce fabrics for the “Made to Measure” service are still made.

With the sewing machine, the label applied to every suit and the accounting registers, Kentridge’s tapestry achieves an interlacing of tradition, places and expertise that captures the spirit and philosophy of Zegna. Made with Ermenegildo Zegna Trophy mohair by The Stephens Tapestry Studio and entitled “Dare/Avere”, the tapestry not only illustrates the laws of the market but also the philosophy of the founder (entrepreneur and philanthropist) who launched major social and environmental programs in the area, projects that continue to inspire Fondazione Zegna’s work today.

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