OUT with that dark suit and sober tie. The old corporate uniform is under attack from a zippy new innovation in menswear known as 'Fridaywear' - casual clothes that can hold their own in the conference room. The line is being introduced by Italian fashion giant, Zegna, already well-known for its lightweight, super-sophisticated suits. A West Coast of America concept, 'Fridaywear' can be worn by corporate employees - save maybe senior executives in banking or law - throughout the week. 'Dressed-up sportswear' is how company vice-president Gildo Zegna described it during a recent visit to Hong Kong. 'I have lived in the US and began noticing this 'Fridaywear' phenomenon,' he said. 'I thought it was time to combine this American idea with Italian fashion and making this concept work with the same European sophistication and high quality. 'Fridaywear is like weekend wear which can be taken to the office. 'It means many executives can forget about the traditional dark or pin-striped suit, which is what many corporations in Italy and the US are doing. 'Slowly, fashion politics for men is being redefined.' He cited his plain beige trousers, geometric jacket, pin-striped pale blue shirt and patterned tie as an example. Another development is the 'broken suit' - mixing and matching jackets and trousers to dilute a formal appearance and give more flexibility to a limited wardrobe. 'In the end, a consumer can become almost like a designer,' he said. 'Of course, it is good for a designer to have his own point of view, but at Zegna, we give freedom of choice to the consumer. 'We give them a stable of basic pieces and they are free to interpret them as they wish.' He believes accessories have also become more important to men. 'In the 1990s, people are going more into accessories to update their wardrobes, to give them more use of their existing clothes and to break the monotony,' he said. The menswear house, which opened a new store in Pacific Place recently, considered expanding into womenswear but soon dropped the idea. 'The reason for anybody's success is focus,' Mr Zegna said. 'If we try to do too many things, we stand to lose too much.' Mr Zegna's fashion - and business - sense runs in the family. His great grandfather started with several looms. Later his grandfather, Ermenegildo, took over, founded the company, and in the 1920s and 1930s began selling to top tailoring houses. Mr Zegna's father and uncle then expanded into ready-to-wear and sportswear - and took the company international. Zegna has not been devoted solely to fashion. It has also taken an active role in environmental concerns. Mr Zegna's father established a reserve in Italy in the 1930s to honour his hard-working employees. An hour's drive from Milan and Turin, Oasi Zegna was enhanced and relaunched three years ago by the current Zegnas and is open to the public for mountain-trekking, trout-fishing and nature walks. 'The idea is to preserve the environment, relax and do physical activities,' Mr Zegna said. 'That way, people will understand what nature is all about.' While in Hong Kong, Mr Zegna presented a cheque to the World Wide Fund for Nature to help towards nature preservation and donated a silver trophy in connection with next year's charity walk through the Mai Po marshes. Mr Zegna admits his company's emphasis on the environment is not all altruistic - it happens to be good for its image as well. 'Everything we do is natural, most importantly the fabrics that we use,' he said. 'We look for the best silks from China, have been to Inner Mongolia to present an award to the best producer of cashmere, source the finest mohair from Africa. 'This all lends to our belief that the environment has to be protected.'