In 2017, Alessandro Sartori, who then just had taken on the role of creative director for Ermenegildo Zegna, launched the Defining Moments campaign. In its short three-minute highlight film, Robert De Niro gives showbiz newbie McCaul Lombardi a bit of perspective. Both actors are Italian-American and clad, of course, in the menswear brand’s signature suits.
Sartori previously worked with the LVMH men’s brand Berluti before taking on Z Zegna and then, eventually, of the parent corporation. His debut as the artistic director for the Italian fashion house was a meant to evoke real stories and authentic values by way of conversations. It was also meant to be a series; De Niro partnered with LA Dance Project founder Benjamin Millepied for the next season. A year from then, Dev Patel and Javier Bardem appeared in the campaign’s playful continuation, shot in the latter’s hometown of Madrid.
This year, Sartori ties puts a closure to the campaign with All The World’s A Stage, which he describes as Defining Moments’ final evolution. Directed by Call Me By Your Name and I Am Love director Luca Guadagnino, All The World’s A Stage is a series of three character-based films shot in Milan.
“I like that fashion represents a time that is never present. It’s very much interested in understanding what comes first, in the past. I like that fashion is always in movement. I like that in fashion I’ve met many of the people that in a way inspire me the most,” says the 47-year-old Italian director. “People who are very much forward in their thinking, very open, they’re not narrowly intent into one field. Fashion people are the good ones, interested in architecture, in art, in life.”
Guadagnino and Sartori first collaborated for the lensman’s 2018 thriller Suspiria, which stars Tild Swinton and Dakota Johnson. The designer worked with Guadagnino and costume designer Giulia Persanti to make the clothing for one of the lead characters, Dr. Jozef Klemperer, played by 82-year-old first time actor Lutz Ebersdorf.
For All The World’s A Stage, Guadagnino and Sartori work with a trio of actors and models: Boyd Holbrook plays DEA agent Steve Murphy for the Netflix series Narcos. The 37-year-old is also in such films as Logan, Milk, A Walk Among the Tombstones, and Gone Girl. For the campaign, the American will sport Zegna casualwear.
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For its made-to-measure line Su Misura, Zegna cast André Holland. The Alabama-native played Kevin in the 2016 Oscar-award winning movie Moonlight, a role that achieved widespread notice and acting nominations for him. Recent work for the 39-year-old include A Wrinkle in Time and American Horror Story: Roanoke. Meanwhile, 33-year-old Hongkong singer and actor William Chan showcases Ermenegildo Zegna XXX, which is the label’s luxury streewear line. Chan is a superstar in mainland China with a long list of television and film credits as well as hit singles.
Guadagnino’s series of portraits explore the rituals and choices which define who we are; we follow private moments of the three men, as they define for themselves who they want to be, connecting viewers to this “moment of decision” through an intimate look at their daily lives.
Guadagnino’s “Defining Moments” films including behind-the-scenes content can be viewed on zegna.com, and in the brand’s global social channels. Locally, Ermenegildo Zegna is available at their Greenbelt 4 shop and at Rustan’s Makati.