Mar 17, 2023
by James Roberts
Zegna and norda Tap Into the Spirit of the Italian Alps With a New Collaboration
by James Roberts
Mar 17, 2023

Oasi Zegna is an area in the Biella Alps in Northern Italy. The mountains are covered with pine trees, the oldest of which were planted in the early 20th Century by entrepreneur Ermenegildo Zegna. Zegna took on a project to reforest the area and invest in the surrounding communities. Since he rooted the first tree in 1910, a staggering 500,000 now carpet the mountainsides in deep green. Oasi Zegna covers an area of 100 km² (30 times the size of Central Park) and its natural ecosystem is home to projects that protect biodiversity and education programs.

It is also an open-access area where people come to hike, explore and, possibly, run. Zegna has captured the freeing act of running in its latest collab collection with Canadian trail experts norda. The collection includes three new colorways for the norda 001, and a capsule of apparel. It’s been brought to life in a campaign that depicts trail runners Marlon Patrice, Thea Klaeboe Aarrestad, Koby Pederson, Patrick Stangbye and Adam John enjoying the dusty paths of Oasi Zenga.

We’re big fans of the norda 001. Not only is it made from some interesting, Earth-friendly materials, it’s also a tough runner that’ll last the miles. We’re happy to report that the iterations of the 001 here come equipped with all the features of the original, including the bio-based Dyneema upper and laces, and the Vibram Megagrip sole. Dyneema is the super-strong and super-light material that norda uses on all its shoes. Made using waste from the pulp and timber industries in processes powered by renewable energies, the fiber is designed to handle the toughest of environments. And that hefty Vibram sole will be with you mile after soul-crushing mile.

These kicks come emblazoned with the Zegna logo, tastefully added to the side of the upper – a placement that you’ll often see on luxury sneakers of this kind. The colorways are sleek and minimal, with the exception of the sulfur yellow and black marbled option. The cheetah-like design of this one might even get you running faster.

There are also a couple of apparel pieces, hinted at in the campaign photography, namely a t-shirt and a sweatshirt with both brands’ logos on. Both also feature a map graphic of Oasi Zegna. They are constructed with #UseTheExisting recycled cotton, made from discarded fibers and threads.

The collaboration shouldn’t come as much surprise because in February, the Ermenegildo Zegna group announced that it had acquired a minority stake in norda. The group’s other brands include Thom Browne and Tom Ford.

Take a look at the Zegna website, and you’ll see that the brand makes Italian-crafted staples using high-end luxury materials like cashmere and leather. We wouldn’t exactly call these Earth-friendly. The brand is built on cashmere, but if Zegna is going to say that it has a “love for nature and spirit of sustainability,” it’s going to have to make some pretty big changes soon. Much more than some recycled cotton tees.

With prices ranging from $105 USD for socks to $1450 USD for a technical vest, you can shop the collaboration now via the Zegna webstore. And elsewhere, in other trail-related news, adidas TERREX has unveiled a new hiking shoe designed for and by women, created with sustainability in mind.