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Defining moments
Defining moments

Defining moments

Feature Men’s style Men’s style | May 2, 2017

Ermenegildo Zegna starts a new dialogue with a fresh campaign starring actors Robert De Niro and Hollywood newcomer McCaul Lombardi, of American Honey

“A defining moment for me? It’s hard for me to answer that in a way,” says Robert De Niro in the opening moments of the first short film in Ermenegildo Zegna’s Spring/Summer 2017 campaign, which pairs the Hollywood icon with Lombardi, both of whom channel American cool throughout the film, sporting Zegna’s latest collection, available at The Galleria.

“I studied when I was 10, and then I stopped. I didn’t do as much until I got older,” confesses the 74-year-old.

Of his film, titled Defining Moments, Zegna says the campaign marks the first expression of the new emotionally connected voice in which the brand will henceforth talk with its community around the globe. 

Lombardi, who made his debut in spectacular style by baring all in the film American Honey, which won the Jury Prize at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, taps into his emotional element in the campaign movie.

He asks Oscar winner De Niro, whose 50-year career includes highlights such as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas and Silver Linings Playbook, how he thinks it would be for him in the industry if he were young and starting out. 

“I don’t know; everything is so different,” De Niro answers. “I always tell people not to be afraid to take a chance for a part. Even if it doesn’t look like you’re gonna get it. Most likely you won’t. But if you don’t go, you’ll never know.”

The two Italian-American actors interact with each other, showing off the clothes in a range of locations, including driving through the streets of Los Angeles; De Niro behind the wheel of the Maserati, of course. 

Zegna’s SS17 line, available in The Galleria, is a third character in the film. The collection stays true to the brand’s Italian savoir  faire. The vibe is ‘informal dressed-up’, with clothes that convey an easy sophistication. The fabrics pay homage to the brand’s heritage; crossover blends sit comfortably alongside everything from silks and seersucker to hemp and etamine, with a sprinkling of suedes and wools. The colour palette is inspired by the Italian cinema of the ’50s — ivory breaks up burgundy, tobacco brown, blues, and even dusty pink and mauve.

More films featuring De Niro and Lombardi’s frank conversations, helmed by filmmaker Francesco Carrozzini and overseen by Alessandro Sartori, artistic director for Ermenegildo Zegna, will be released alongside the brand’s traditional editorial material. 

“We plan to use Ermenegildo Zegna as a forum for the nourishment of enquiring minds,” says the brand. “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. We will deepen our dialogue with our customers, by offering a richer choice of bespoke experience of our brand and products — and to share what defines us. Ermenegildo Zegna is a global company, yes — but is anything but faceless.”

Fittingly, the two actors discuss their craft, insight and experience at length. The older shares some advice he got from a mentor with the visibly awestruck younger man, who in that defining moment is each and every one of us who has ever looked up to one of the greats: “Nobody is a bargain,” smiles De Niro. 

Ermenegildo Zegna is located on Level 1.

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