Tradition and quality, two words which have always signified excellence for the Ermenegildo Zegna Wool Mill. At the end of the ’60s, Angelo Zegna (in the photo) visited kid mohair farms in Port Elisabeth, South Africa, to see for himself the various stages of shearing, sorting and selecting the wool so that the Wool Mill could be sure of getting the finest raw materials available.
This activity too, rooted in commitment to constant striving for quality and passionate enthusiasm in its work, enabled Ermenegildo Zegna Group to immediately become one of the world’s biggest buyers of kid mohair, in some years securing 100% of production for itself.
In 1970, to encourage South African farmers to produce fibers of increasingly high quality and fineness, the Group founded the Ermenegildo Zegna Mohair Trophy Awards, an annual event to acclaim the best South African farms.
The 45th Awards took place a few days ago in Johannesburg, organized in collaboration with the Mohair Board. The winner, for the ninth time, was FE Colborne & Sons, immortalized at the prize giving ceremony with the precious engraved silver plate designed by the Florentine master silversmith Brandimarte Guscelli. The trophy designed by this Tuscan artist replaced, in 1980, the original one by Eberhard Dechow, who created a metal sculpture with stylized threads and a mohair kid which is now in the permanent exhibition entitled “A Hundred Years of Excellence” at Casa Zegna in Trivero (Biella).
Reflecting its priority of always assuring itself the finest raw materials and also showing its support for producers who adopt sustainable farming techniques, the Group acquired kid mohair from the top three in the awards ranking.
“We’ve been holding the Ermenegildo Zegna Mohair Trophy Awards since 1970,” explained Ermenegildo Zegna Group chairman Paolo Zegna, “and it’s always a great pleasure for us to reward the efforts of and results achieved by South Africa’s farmers. These Awards show the importance of mohair production and our Group’s commitment to maintaining high standards of quality for the materials we use to make our most precious fabrics, such as wool, cashmere, vicuña, silk and, obviously, kid mohair”.
South African kid mohair’s extraordinary luster and its crease resistance, due to its innate natural reaction to being creased, make it much sought after, especially in eastern markets and countries with very humid climates. Fabrics made with kid mohair recently returned to the fore, worldwide, partly thanks to the creative work of Ermenegildo Zegna, which has succeeded in making them more contemporary and pleasant to wear.