Unlikely fashion icon Robert De Niro stars in new Ermenegildo Zegna campaign - with video

Luxury menswear brand Ermenegildo Zegna has unveiled its spring/summer 2017 advertising campaign, which features seasoned actor Robert De Niro alongside newcomer McCaul Lombardi.

The two actors came together to star in Defining Moments, a short film by filmmaker Francesco Carrozzini, and the dialogue is all free form. Although set in clearly staged environments – inside a car, by a pool and just walking along – the atmosphere feels remarkably unrehearsed, as if the audience was privy to private conversations. De Niro discusses the mentors who have guided him, why he is drawn to some roles but not others, and even his approach to risk taking. Opposite him, Lombardi, who debuted last year as Corey in American Honey, seems visibly star struck. Far from feeling awkward, this awe is precisely what gives this film its charm.

Naturally, as this unfolds, both men are dressed in Zegna’s spring/summer 2017 collection, but this seems almost beside the point. Zegna will have known full well that De Niro’s presence would overshadow everything else, but has been content to let that happen, which gives the whole exercise an authentic edge.

Director Francesco Carrozzini was a natural choice for this fashion-meets-acting project. His mother is the late Italian Vogue editor-in-chief, Franca Sozzani (about whom he made Franca: Chaos and Creation, in 2016) and he was nominated for an Emmy for his 2006 work, New York Times Screen Tests, starring Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman and Marion Cotillard.

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