Zegna’s Oft-Overlooked Oasis Takes Over Milan for Design Week

The luxury house is commemorating its century-old reforestation project with a book launch and floral activations.

Oasi Zegna. Photo: Zegna.

This Milan Design Week, luxury fashion house Zegna is celebrating a sometimes-forgotten but unique part of its heritage with a “fragrant tome,” fresh flower beds in Piazza Duomo, and exhibitions across the city, all honoring its century-old reforestation project, Oasi Zegna.

In 1929, Ermenegildo Zegna planted his first tree on the land surrounding his wool mill, situated in the Biella Alps of Piedmont, Italy. Nine years later, he led construction on the 232 road, which still connects both sides of the mountain. In 1993, his grandchildren formally established Oasi Zegna as a free park where families can enjoy hiking, horseback riding, skiing, and more. The fashion house has since planted over 500,000 trees at Oasi Zegna, which measures 30 times larger than New York’s Central Park. Artistic director Alessandro Sartori has called the year-round refuge “not just a place but a mindset.”

An aerial view of a road cutting through bright orange and a few green trees

An aerial view of Panoramica Zegna Road, now public and known as 232 road. Photo: Zegna.

Now, Zegna is extending that state of mind beyond Oasi Zegna’s enrapturing grounds. Last year, the house released its first Oasi Cashmere collection of elevated workwear, alongside a traceability plan to help build more sustainable raw material supply chains. This week, Zegna is dropping Born in Oasi Zegna, a stunning new book published by Rizzoli that recounts the origin story of Zegna’s renowned natural sanctuary.

A photograph of two identical black books with brown and white accented covers standing alongside each other on a plain taupe background

Copies of Born in Oasi Zegna. Photo: Zegna.

Born in Oasi Zegna is much more than a book,” a Zegna spokesperson wrote over email. “It’s a project that stems from Zegna’s original seed and represents a timeless document, playbook, and visual tale.”

Between its covers, subtly embossed with a wood grain pattern, Born in Oasi Zegna offers an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look into this undertaking through photos, historical anecdotes, and illustrations by three acclaimed artists: Paolo Bacilieri, Cecilia Carlstedt, and Giuseppe Ragazzini. Chidozie Obasi, a noted cultural writer and editor in Milan, composed the tome’s text.

A photograph of a book opened to two pages with illustrations

Inside Born in Oasi Zegna. Photo: Zegna.

Eventually, displays related to Oasi Zegna will travel the world. For now, Milan marks its fitting first stop. Through April 21, Zegna’s Design District headquarters will host an immersive exhibition that brings to life Oasi Zegna’s vegetation like shrub camphor, evergreen, and leafy plants like rhododendrons and philadelphus. Zegna’s Montenapoleone store will feature a complementary window display. The house is also taking over the Rizzoli Galleria Store in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.

A photograph of a lush green mountain meadow filled with bright pink flowers

Flowers at Oasi Zegna. Photo: Zegna.

Zegna considers Born in Oasi Zegna just as alive as the nature preserve itself. A piece of the event will live on in Milan for the next three years, starting on April 19, when Zegna unveils the vibrant flower beds it is donating to Piazza Duomo and the city of Milan. The house has promised to tend these gardens, crafted from foliage evoking Oasi Zegna’s ecosystem.

Black text atop a background of irregular green and grey circles agains a plain white backdrop

A page from Born In Oasi Zegna. Photo: Zegna.

On the whole, “the project aims to convey the value and urgency of respect for the Earth and nature, as well as the importance that urban green spaces can bring people closer to natural ecosystems,” Zegna’s spokesperson wrote. Born in Oasi Zegna is available online, in stores, and at two temporary newsstands in Piazza Duomo and Montenapoleone that will also hand out limited-edition tote bags through April 21.

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