ZEGNA explores #WHATMAKESAMAN


“Men have been the core of our business since 1910,” claimed Ermenegildo Zegna. For more than a century, Zegna has been the point of reference for men’s classic elegance.  Along with it, the brand has spent decades building the image of a true gentleman, as its ideal customer. But times have changed. Today, modern masculinity is not that easy to label. It just does not suffice to synthesize this definition (a general, albeit, endearing and always fascinating) of a gentleman. Being a man today can be tough, which is why classical brands want to look deeper inside their identities and values in order to respond to the new and multifaceted definition of what it means to be a man.
 
“What makes a man today? What does manhood mean in the world we are living in?” Let the brainstorming begin. 
 
In popular society, the topic has been rendered much more interesting, especially when the notion originates from a vanguard menswear brand like Zegna. The Fall/Winter 2019 collection campaign was revealed during New York Fashion Week, at an intimate event that hosted Oscar-winning actor and brand testimonial Mahershala Ali (star of Moonlight, Green Book). Alessandro Sartori, creative director of Ermenegildo Zegna, was by his side and discussed the issues that inspired him and his team to investigate the meaning of masculinity in an ever-evolving society that never stops questioning rules and seemingly established concepts.

“What does it mean to be a man today? There is not a single answer; rather, there are many,” Sartori said, explaining what lies behind the #whatmakesaman tease. “The world we live in is fluid and constantly evolving. The same goes for the concept of masculinity. With this campaign, we wanted to express the values in which we believe, because in such a complex and globalized world we think it is also an act of courage deciding to open up about the fundamental values of the company. We do not want to redefine, but to open a discussion on the concept of masculinity as a state of mind. That takes on different meanings and includes many features: courtesy, kindness, patience, vulnerability, wisdom, eccentricity. In addition, dignity and openness to accept and embrace the contradictions of life, to evolve day by day, remaining honest to the self, constantly changing their perspective and attitudes. The campaign is intended to be a platform for discussion, recognizing that it takes courage to express a new type of masculinity, perhaps different from the idealized versions that have existed for so long.”
 
Idealized versions attributable to a stereotyped model of man include: successful, strong, straight. But nowadays the concept of gender and inclusivity remain delicate and constantly in flux. Men of today do not need to demonstrate a proverbial sense of masculine strength anymore. Many feel dignified expressing kindness and their feelings through dialogue. In a few words, we could say that masculinity today is a state of mind: men embrace their own views about it and care less about what it means to go against the grain and the “classic” concepts of yesteryear.
Zegna’s aim is not to impose a vision – that would be contradictory, inconsistent – rather to leave the discussion open-ended. “Our values are solid at the core, but they keep evolving with time,” Ermenegildo explained.
 
For the modern man, evolving with the times also means more than just caring about themselves and gender-related issues, but also expanding their sensibility and consciousness to grasp the environment and the society around them.
 
Love, failure, struggle, risk, dreams, playfulness, movement, freedom: these are the new characteristics that make the man of today, according to Zegna. “But it is always possible to add new traits,” Sartori said, stressing the importance of exploring topics outside of the company’s realm. “Men are complex and constantly evolving,” Sartori added.
 
“The ultimate goal is to open a door, let ideas unravel, accept the form they will take. Openness and the will to accept change as the force that shapes life, makes the man. The final message, after all, is acceptance and, ultimately, self-acceptance. Of kindness as the supreme form of strength.”
 
Zegna commitment is even more important in a fashion universe where the attention to the LGBTQ community’s cause is ever ascending. It’s impossible to forget Christopher Bayley’s farewell show for Burberry, a true statement in favor of the community led by model Cara Delevingne.
Other forms of support have been shown by the top ten’s names in the industry, such as Karl Lagerfeld and Nicolas Ghesquière. Louis Vuitton’s artistic director discovered transgender model Teddy Quinlivan who had been walking the runways for about two years before revealing her status. After the announcement, she was the first transgender model to walk for Chanel and to be chosen as the house beauty ambassador.
Several among the top sportswear brands have joined the cause, too, this year, realizing capsule collections of shoes inspired by the LGBT flag: Adidas, Under Armour, New Balance, and Nike, to name a few.
Later last Summer, Gucci was at the top of a list of first luxury brands signing a petition to the American Court of Justice, in order to ask for an improvement of  laws and general working conditions for homosexuals in job environments. A mainstream to be continued.



SHARE
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
SIMILAR ARTICLES
How to Lose Followers
By Aarushi Saxena
Disingenuous endorsements is the number one reason why individuals unfollow influencers,...
By Aarushi Saxena
By Aarushi Saxena
Disingenuous endorsements is the number one reason why individuals unfollow influencers, according to Instagram creative firm Takumi and a study released last week by Marketing Charts, a hub for data, graphics, and research analysis. Based on a survey of 2,251 representatives in the UK, the US,...
Disingenuous endorsements is the number one reason why individuals unfollow influencers, according to Instagram creative firm Takumi and a study released last week by Marketing Charts, a hub for data, graphics, and research analysis. Based on a survey of 2,251 representatives in the UK, the US, and Germany, a significant crowd of 16- to 24-year-old consumers credit influencers for their “trendy...
The Kimono Reinvented
By Elisabeta Tudor
The kimono has always been an object of fascination. Even in Japan, where it is considered an...
By Elisabeta Tudor
By Elisabeta Tudor
The kimono has always been an object of fascination. Even in Japan, where it is considered an intangible cultural treasure, designers can’t help but put their hands on it to reinvent it and challenge traditional perception.Yoshiki Hayashi, an influential composer and musician-turned-designer, did...
The kimono has always been an object of fascination. Even in Japan, where it is considered an intangible cultural treasure, designers can’t help but put their hands on it to reinvent it and challenge traditional perception.Yoshiki Hayashi, an influential composer and musician-turned-designer, did just that during the latest week of runway shows in Tokyo. As of today, the best-selling artist –...
The Forgotten Side of Fashion
By Frédéric Martin-Bernard
In our current times that are defined by social media and selfies, it is not uncommon for fashion...
By Frédéric Martin-Bernard
By Frédéric Martin-Bernard
In our current times that are defined by social media and selfies, it is not uncommon for fashion designers to solely focus on the front sides of the garments they design. Is this a reflection of our current digitally-obsessed era, or does this tendency reveal a decline of true craftsmanship?The...
In our current times that are defined by social media and selfies, it is not uncommon for fashion designers to solely focus on the front sides of the garments they design. Is this a reflection of our current digitally-obsessed era, or does this tendency reveal a decline of true craftsmanship?The contrast was striking. On September 25th, Anrealage’s Creative Director Kunihiko Morinaga chose to...
Chloé and UNICEF to Empower Young Women
By NOWFASHION
The French luxury Maison under the creative direction of Natacha Ramsay-Levi and UNICEF just...
By NOWFASHION
The French luxury Maison under the creative direction of Natacha Ramsay-Levi and UNICEF just announced a new 3-year global partnership to advance gender equality through innovative tech solutions developed with and for adolescent girls.The partnership will include support to flagship UNICEF...
The French luxury Maison under the creative direction of Natacha Ramsay-Levi and UNICEF just announced a new 3-year global partnership to advance gender equality through innovative tech solutions developed with and for adolescent girls.The partnership will include support to flagship UNICEF programming models that equip adolescent girls and young women from Bolivia, Jordan, Morocco, Senegal,...
The Show Goes on in São Paulo
By Jorge Grimberg
“Brazilian creatives have gone through a whirlwind following the dramatic political scandals of...
By Jorge Grimberg
By Jorge Grimberg
“Brazilian creatives have gone through a whirlwind following the dramatic political scandals of the past few years and throughout this scenario, SPFW has become a tool to keep the system alive,” said Paulo Borges, the CEO and founder of São Paulo Fashion Week, which will close its 48th edition on...
“Brazilian creatives have gone through a whirlwind following the dramatic political scandals of the past few years and throughout this scenario, SPFW has become a tool to keep the system alive,” said Paulo Borges, the CEO and founder of São Paulo Fashion Week, which will close its 48th edition on Friday. A visionary ahead of his time, Borges started São Paulo Fashion Week 24 years ago. The...
Shanghai: Tech and Tribal Culture
By Jing Zhang
In a swish of Balenciaga jumpers, Gucci tees, and doll-like Chinese KOLs live streaming to their...
By Jing Zhang
In a swish of Balenciaga jumpers, Gucci tees, and doll-like Chinese KOLs live streaming to their fans on their phones, Shanghai Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020 is coming to a close. It was a week of sunshine, rainstorms, and blustering winds, as buyers, media, and fashionistas traversed between...
In a swish of Balenciaga jumpers, Gucci tees, and doll-like Chinese KOLs live streaming to their fans on their phones, Shanghai Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020 is coming to a close. It was a week of sunshine, rainstorms, and blustering winds, as buyers, media, and fashionistas traversed between Xintiandi (home to shows on the main official schedule) and the Labelhood runway platform – this time...
How Shanghai Could Change Fashion
By Gianluca Cantaro
When you are in Shanghai, the only thing you need to worry about is always keeping your phone...
By Gianluca Cantaro
By Gianluca Cantaro
When you are in Shanghai, the only thing you need to worry about is always keeping your phone charged and connected – as everything passes through these devices, and without it you are lost. Cash no longer circulates; the QR code pays everything. This, of course, offers more control on...
When you are in Shanghai, the only thing you need to worry about is always keeping your phone charged and connected – as everything passes through these devices, and without it you are lost. Cash no longer circulates; the QR code pays everything. This, of course, offers more control on transactions and, I guess, fewer tax evasion problems (at least for shopping). This is one aspect of the...
Lindbergh Film to Premiere in Milan
By Sofia Celeste
Milan’s Fashion Film Festival will unveil “Peter Lindbergh: Women’s Stories” at Milan’s Anteo...
By Sofia Celeste
Milan’s Fashion Film Festival will unveil “Peter Lindbergh: Women’s Stories” at Milan’s Anteo Cinema on November 10th.“Engaging and intimate, this film depicts the German photographer and features Naomi Campbell, [his wife] Astrid Lindbergh, and Helga Polzin,” organizers said Tuesday.The...
Milan’s Fashion Film Festival will unveil “Peter Lindbergh: Women’s Stories” at Milan’s Anteo Cinema on November 10th.“Engaging and intimate, this film depicts the German photographer and features Naomi Campbell, [his wife] Astrid Lindbergh, and Helga Polzin,” organizers said Tuesday.The Lindbergh documentary was directed by Jean-Michel Vecchiet, who also depicted the life of Jean-Michel...