by Stephen Garner

The Ermenegildo Zegna Group is joining forces with Cesvi, one of the largest and most prominent humanitarian organizations in Italy, to take an active and leading role in contributing to the social and cultural development of younger generations. Working across the globe, Zegna’s commitment will work to build a new meaning of masculinity through education. This new partnership, called From A to Zegna, will provide a variety of educational programs that aim to challenge stereotypes about “manliness” and nurture a distinct sense of humanity in the world’s youth.

Giving back has always been a part of the Zegna mission. Following the recent launch of the brand’s What does it mean to be a man today? campaign, Zegna has designed a #WHATMAKESAMAN t-shirt, to be sold in all of its boutiques. Proceeds from the t-shirt sales will support Cesvi in its mission of protecting and educating vulnerable children, a cause that wholly aligns with the humanitarian underpinnings of Zegna’s global vision.

The project From A to Zegna will operate in several countries in partnership with Cesvi’s Houses of Smiles. Conceived and built to create ad hoc educational modules, From A to Zegna aims to promote positive behavioral changes among youth around the world. It includes workshops on peer-to-peer communication, group discussions, and collaborations with local universities focusing on healthy interaction, all of which are part of a global conversation that Zegna is undertaking about the concept of modern masculinity. These educational programs are based on a community’s unique, local needs, which will allow for tangible actions to be taken that reflect an individual community’s values. It’s a global approach operating on a local level, grounded on one simple idea: one must respect the local culture while at the same time nurturing its development.

Several projects will be conducted all around the world with local partners in different countries, among which Italy, Perú and South Africa, all with the aim to encourage younger generations to be thoughtful about a new idea of masculinity in today’s society.

The ethical principles of social responsibility and a sustainable approach towards community are fundamental principles of both Zegna and Cesvi. The partnership will be through Fondazione Zegna, the Zegna family philanthropic arm, which embodies the founder’s vision and operates both locally and internationally on matters related to sustainability and culture. This includes the Ermenegildo Zegna Founder’s Scholarship that, since its inception in 2014, has allowed talented Italian graduates to pursue postgraduate studies abroad, after which time they return to Italy with an aim towards actively participating in the country’s development.

Zegna’s decision to focus on education was driven by our fundamental belief that education in its many forms is the best way to influence the lives of a whole generation from the ground up, fostering openness, which in turn leads to freedom.