Every story begins with a moment. In an instant, a man’s whole life can change. In a chance encounter. A risk taken. These are the moments that become part of the fabric of who we are. They define us.
According to Ermenegildo Zegna artistic director Alessandro Sartori and CEO Gildo Zegna, this campaign, entitled “Defining Moments,” has special resonance in that it marks the start of a new strategy for the house. De Niro stars opposite Maryland up-and-comer McCaul Lombardi in a series of images shot against archetypal Los Angeles backdrops. Sartori and Zegna commissioned the director Francesco Carrozzini to shoot a series of short films recording the actors discussing their “defining moments.”
“With this campaign we really want to tell a story starting from a conversation”, says Sartori. “Zegna is about real stories and people, authentic values, Italian style and craftsmanship, different generations. The starting point is a legend like Mr De Niro talking to a younger talent, McCaul Lombardi, about what his life has been. We don’t target the brand or the lines according to ages; the identity is the same. It’s an integrated approach; from values to aesthetics and visuals. Everything is linked”, says the designer.
Both actors are Italian-American, a happy synergy with the fact that Zegna is regarded as one of the finest Italian menswear establishments, with De Niro’s gravitas and experience contrasting with Lombardi’s recent spring to fame in the Oscar-winning American Honey. The decision to combine the two actors also, says Alessandro Sartori, points to the inter-generational aspect of Zegna’s appeal, and nods to the varying ages of the models in Zegna’s recent catwalk show in Milan – the designer’s first at the house.
About Ermenegildo Zegna: Now with over 500 shops and 7,000 employees worldwide, the Ermenegildo Zegna Group started in Northern Italy with the dream and passion of one man. – See more at: The company was founded in 1910 by Ermenegildo Zegna. At the age of 18 he founded the Lanificio Zegna (wool mill) and what was to become one of Italy’s best known dynamic family business. He had a dream that he would make, in his own words, “the most beautiful fabrics in the world.”
The company continues to be family-run and is led by Gildo as CEO; Paolo is Chairman, Anna is Image Director and President of Fondazione Zegna, and Benedetta is Talent Manager. The group has three principles: setting long-term objectives; maintaining family ownership to ensure continuity; and following a sound ethical commitment enshrined in a rigorous corporate governance system. These ensure that the company stays true to the founder’s vision while ensuring it continues to innovate in a fast-changing business.