The push towards gender equality and inclusion around the world, combined with the global `Me Too’ movement has forced men in recent times to introspect and relook at the traditional notions of masculinity. This has manifested itself in several ways: men are increasingly conscious and cautious about actions or talk that could be interpreted to […]
The push towards gender equality and inclusion around the world, combined with the global `Me Too’ movement has forced men in recent times to introspect and relook at the traditional notions of masculinity. This has manifested itself in several ways: men are increasingly conscious and cautious about actions or talk that could be interpreted to be sexist, or seem to stem from old notions of male privilege and patriarchy; traditional gender roles are getting upended at a pace faster than ever before; men are much more comfortable showing their emotion in public; even the blurring of gender lines in the fluid fashion choices of the millennials point to a shift in how men perceive themselves.
This change in male thinking is what Eremengildo Zegna wants to explore through their new worldwide campaign under the rubric of `What does it mean to be a man today?’ The Italian luxury brand which has clothed successive generations of men for over a century, wants this campaign to be an international platform for discussion, conversation and even some `provocation’ on the sensitive subject, with Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali and popular Honk Kong-Chinese actor-singer Nicholas Tse as its global faces. “We recognize that it takes courage to express a new type of masculinity – a masculinity that is, perhaps, different from the idealized versions of masculinity that have existed for so long” the brand says in a press release, “With a deep respect for this courage, Zegna, a brand rooted in tailoring and fine craftsmanship, is also embracing an idea of masculinity that is fluid, sensitive, and unequivocal.”
As part of the campaign on Instagram, Zegna has showcased portraits of men from all walks of life placed alongside scribbled with handwritten notes that convey a sense of constant questioning on the subject. The campaign touches on love, failure, fight, risk, dreaming, playfulness, movement, and freedom as some of the qualities that make a man today, asking users to add to this list and their own opinion and ideas about the new masculinity. A key component of the campaign is the #WHATMAKESAMAN T-shirt that is worn by the participants, and which is available to buy at Zegna boutiques.
The Zegna family’s philanthropic arm Fondazione Zegna has teamed up with Italian humanitarian organization Cesvi for this campaign. The partnership called `From A to Zegna’ – will provide a variety of educational programs that challenge stereotypes about `manliness’ and related issues. The programme includes workshops on peer-to-peer communication, group discussions, and collaborations with local universities. Proceeds from the sale of #WHATMAKESAMAN T-shirts will support Cesvi in this mission.