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PASSAGE TO INDIA: In a nod to one of its most important new markets, India is the setting for Ermenegildo Zegna’s spring ad campaign. Photographed by Nathaniel Goldberg in Jaipur, known as India’s “Pink City,” the ads will break in February newspapers, weekly magazines, monthly fashion and lifestyle titles and outdoors, although the specific media buy has not been finalized.

“The Zegna spirit is perfectly represented here, where the blend of tradition and modernity, craftsmanship and creativity, all combine in a country of extremes,” said Anna Zegna, image director at the Milan-based company.

Zegna opened its first owned retail boutique in Mumbai in May 2007, followed by stores in Delhi and Bangalore. The brand has recently become eager to photograph campaigns in important emerging markets: Its spring 2007 ads were shot in China, and its current fall ads were shot in Berlin, gateway to Eastern Europe.

The spring ads carry the ongoing tag line “Great minds think alike,” and feature Zegna’s different labels in various settings. The core Sartoria label was photographed in the Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, once the residence of the royal family and now home to the Taj Hotel Resort. The top-line Couture and Made-to-Measure labels were shot in the City Palace, another royal residence, while the Upper Casual sportswear label was snapped on Jaipur’s main road, with models riding the city’s archetypal motorbikes. Along with shooting in India, the campaign features London-born, Indian male model Moose Ali Khan, as well as top faces like Will Chalker and Andrés Segura Velencoso. To align itself with the theme of the campaign, the Fondazione Zegna is making a donation to Care & Share India, a nongovernmental organization that assists orphaned children on the subcontinent.

Zegna declined to divulge the advertising budget for the spring season. From January to September 2008, Gruppo Ermenegildo Zegna, which includes the Agnona brand, spent $7 million in U.S. advertising, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

— David Lipke
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