Nature as a source of inspiration, a wealth of materials and colours, a point of departure for a project founded on authenticity and beauty. This is what led Francesco Ilorini Mo to set up Agnona in 1953, the beginning of a story that went from yarn to fabric, from fabric to the creation of fashion collections, all under the banner of exclusiveness.
It all started when Ilorini Mo, driven by a consuming passion for knowledge, left his valleys at the foot of Monterosa to travel like a modern-day Marco Polo across Australia, Peru and China “looking for the best places to farm wool, . He returned to Borgosesia and dedicated himself to using avant-garde machinery to process those precious fleeces in a style which, from shearing to weaving, was never aggressive, being always respectful of the gifts of nature and seeking to enhance them. He was at least 50 years ahead of our modern environmental sensibility.
But the key constant throughout the life of Ilorini Mo has been his vocation for excellence, which enabled him to become a supplier of fabrics to couturiers like Dior, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent and Valentino and then a producer of fashion thanks to his collaboration with stylist Walter Albini, to whom he entrusted the sartorial transformation of his fabric masterpieces. This was the birth of the Agnona style, whose contemporary flavour and simple models (still strikingly modern today) gained aspirational status in the collective imagination and a place of honour in the history of fashion. In his book “Quest for the Best”, Stanley Marcus defined Agnona as “one of the highest examples of industrial and creative quality”. A distinction that has endured for decades.
Zegna Group immediately believed in Ilorini Mo’s project, it understood its huge creative force and decided to support it, thus giving rise to an extraordinary partnership that resulted in the Group taking over Agnona in 1999. This gave the brand a new strength as it opened prestige boutiques in the world’s most exclusive shopping locations.