The Makers Of Paul Keating's Favourite Suits, Ermenegildo Zegna, Have Bought Into An Australian Wool Dynasty

Company chairman Paolo Zegna. Image: Supplied.

Makers of former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating’s favoured suit, Italian fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna, is getting directly involved in wool production for the first time through an investment in a Australian wool-making family business.

Announcing a joint venture agreement today with sixth generation Australian wool-grower Charles Coventry, Ermenegildo Zegna chairman Paolo Zegna has purchased a 40 per cent stake in the family’s property, located outside of Armidale in NSW.

While the terms of the deal have not been disclosed, Zegna said the company is looking to increase control over its supply chain, adding wool production to its manufacturing, design and retail businesses.

Adding wool growing to its portfolio was “something that has been a desire for generations in the company, a company that has been involved in wool for many, many years, for decades,” Zegna said today.

“It has been regularly discussed at the board table,” he said.

“It was time to complete the entire circle of the wool industry.

“The wool production was the only step that we missed.”

Under the agreement, the Italian designer will control 40% of the 6336 acre Achill property which currently has about 12,500 sheep, producing between 40,000 and 45,000 kilos of wool which will now exclusively head into Ermenegildo’s supply chain. But it will only meet a small portion of the fashion house’s needs – it uses about 1.5 million tonnes of wool a year.

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