Ermenegildo Zegna takes an unorthodox approach to its SS17 campaign featuring Robert De Niro  and breakout actor McCaul Lombardi in what has been described as a new brand statement for the label. Entitled Defining Moments, the campaign marks the first expression of the new emotionally connected voice in which Ermenegildo Zegna will henceforth talk with its community around the globe.

The campaign features both actors of different generations but who have an affinity that transcends age. They share a vocation, both are Italian-American and have a natural elegance of style and boldness of character. The campaign was shot towards the end of 2016 when they met with Alessandro Sartori, artistic director of Ermenegildo Zegna and film-maker Francesco Carrozzini.

What followed was a four-way, free form dialogue; the designer, the filmmaker and the stars of Defining Moments who all brought their expertise and opinions to the discussion. Carrozzini’s short movies feature De Niro and Lombardi interacting with each other and the Zegna garments that they have chosen to wear. Whether on the road, on the shoot, or at in moments of repose in between, the actors – one renowned, the other still burgeoning, share their Defining Moments. De Niro discusses his mentors, his philosophy of risk-taking, what draws him to a role – as well as what makes him shy away from them – and the city that owns his heart. Lombardi, naturally, is respectful of the master – visibly awe-struck to be in his company – but also keen to share his insights and experience, some of which De Niro recognises in himself.

The conversation is free, real and passionate, and said to be symbolic of the new Ermenegildo Zegna strategy. It is also meant to be a catalyst to start many more conversations held under the Defining Moments banner, using Ermenegildo Zegna as a forum for the “nourishment of enquiring minds by hosting a series of informal eclectic events at which some of the greatest, passionate, stylish, authentic and successful men in their fields will be invited.”

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