Agnona is an Italian fashion house, fabric producer, and home furnishings company. Founded in 1953 by Francesco Ilorini Mo, and later led by Alberto Ilorini, it was acquired by Ermenegildo Zegna Group in 1999. Agnona was initially a wool mill that produced fabric for fashion houses, and in the 1970s the company began a fashion house as well. Simon Holloway is its creative director as of December 1, 2015, succeeding Stefano Pilati.
The company was founded in 1953 by Francesco Ilorini Mo, and was originally located in Borgosesia, Italy. Since this time, Agnona has provided fabrics to fashion designers internationally. Initial clients for his cloth included Balenciaga, Balmain, Pierre Cardin, and Chanel. Francesco’s Ilorini Mo’s son Alberto Ilorini took over the company from his father, eventually becoming chairman of the company, including after the company was purchased by Ermenengildo Zegna in January 1999.
Initially selling in Europe, in 1960 Agnona began selling its fabrics in Japan after a personal trip that Ilorini made to explore the option of expanding into their market. In 1961 it expanded in the US market. Starting in the late 1960s, Agnona began travelling internationally to acquire the raw wool for its fabrics outside of Italy, importing from regions including South America, China, Australia, and Tibet. It also took stakes in various foreign companies to secure the material.
Agnona produces about five thousand different kinds of wool. Wool fabrics produced by Agnona include cashmere, mohair, camel, alpaca, and vicuna. As of 1997, clients that used Agnona fabric in their clothing included Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Gianni Versace, Jil Sander, Escada, Hugo Boss, Dior, Hermès, Valentino, Gianfranco Ferre, Joyce, Sanyo, and Marc Jacobs. The company is a part of the International Vicuna Consortium, which has the exclusive rights to the sale and marketing of vicuna wool.
Agnona has both apparel and textile divisions. Its apparel and home furnishings division was opened in the 1970s, including ready-to-wear fashion, knitwear, and a home collection. Its accessories line includes scarves, ties, and shawls. Clothing from Agnona includes coats, jeans, skirts, dresses, and other items. Managing directors of the lines have included Roberto Jorio Fili, who later managed Calvin Klein.
In the late 1990s, Agnona began creating stand-alone stores for its lines, in addition to selling its wares in department stores. The points of sales in the US during the 1990s included Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Barneys New York. In 1997 it opened its first free-standing boutique in New York City. Previously Agnona had opened wholly owned boutiques in Milan. It also had franchised boutiques in Osaka and Tokyo. Agnona was purchased in 1999 by Zegna in order to expand its knitwear lines.
In January 2001, Mario Giraudi was appointed the managing director of Agnona. That year the company’s sales were split between 50% women’s wear, 25% men’s wear, and 25% home furnishings. The men’s line has since been discontinued. In 2004 Agnona clothing began being sold in Zegna stores as well. Daniela Cattaneo then became the creative director for the fashion house. In 2006 Gunn Johansson was named the designer of Agnona’s women’s wear line. The fashion house was also receiving guidance from Gucci chairman Domenico De Sole, and from Agnona CEO Tord von Dryssen. That year the company earned 90% of its revenues from its apparel and only 10% from its fabrics.
From 2012 to 2015 Agnona apparel took on Stefano Pilati as its head designer, who expanded the accessories collection with the Cara Bag line. In May 2014, Alessandra Carra became the CEO of the company.