Italian textile and clothing group Ermenegildo Zegna has named designer Domenico De Sole, who has recently set up a new luxury brand with Tom Ford, as its group advisor.

The appointment of De Sole comes as part of Zegna's consolidation of its presence in the European, North American and Japanese markets, and attempt to expand within newer markets such as China, Russia, Brazil and India.

De Sole, who has been a partner of the group for over a decade and is an ex-chief executive of luxury giant Gucci, will work jointly with Marco Vitale, a member of Zegna's board.

Milan-based Ermenegildo Zegna saw a 5.5 per cent rise in year-on-year sales to €634 million in 2004, with net profit growing 14.4 per cent to €44.5m.