The Rake


The gift of a great man is that he is able to read the prevailing currents as if accessing a language the rest of us have only a passable comprehension of but in which he is totally and unequivocally articulate. Sensing the seismic shift, tapped into the heart of the zeitgeist, he is able to move decisively to align the fortunes of his nation and his company with the unstoppable momentum of the future. And, in so doing, he becomes inextricably linked with that future for ever

Ermenegildo Zegna was one of these men. Placed behind a pane of glass in the Zegna museum, downstairs from its archives and adjacent to the factory and historic home of Ermenegildo Zegna in Trivero, northern Italy, is a seemingly innocuous restaurant menu. But on this menu is a list of the four courses that were served during a meal that changed the course of the Zegna company’s destiny.

In the 1930s, Zegna had experienced success in Italy and Europe. Because of more modest continental spending power, the company had developed a fine reputation in the weaving of high quality and hard wearing but less costly woollen fabrics, which were avidly consumed in Europe. But Ermenegildo Zegna understood that the real market for the finer and

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Rake

The Rake17 min read
Poetic Justice
photography kalle gustafsson fashion direction jo grzeszczuk Special thanks to Mark’s Club It takes a Brit to play America’s most wholesome, handsome and superhuman superhero. Superman is to the comic world what Winston Churchill is to politics: not
The Rake6 min read
Fabric Of The Universe
by nick scott photography luke carby Those among us whose first visit to a reputable atelier was made relatively recently will recall the frisson of enchantment on being handed the swatch books. Beholding the plethora of options peeping out from bene
The Rake6 min read
Out Of The Blue
by jessica beresford Tequila has been given a bad rap, claimed by patrons of dive bars who consume it en masse late into the night. Francisco Alcaraz speaks with a deep, raspy voice, carefully considering every word before uttering it. His hair, stil