by Stephen Garner

Mahershala Ali and Nicholas Tse serve as the faces of Zegna’s new campaign that takes the Italian luxury brand onto a new path. The suitmaker is now embracing a new point of view with softer looks and introspective ad campaigns that re-examine manliness and subtly challenge toxic masculinity.

Zegna’s new fall/winter 2019 campaign addresses what makes a man. It aims to assert love, failure, fight, risk, dreaming, playfulness, movement, and freedom, all qualities that make a man today.“There isn’t a single answer; rather, there are many,” the brand said in a press release about the launch. “The world we live in is fluid and ever-changing. So, too, is the concept of masculinity. The notion of masculinity as something steely and unambiguous, a staid and static concept, no longer works – if it ever did.”

Zegna’s desire to facilitate this conversation is the major purpose behind its new brand campaign. This campaign is a platform for discussion – and perhaps some provocation. Zegna said it recognizes 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. With a deep respect for this courage, Zegna is also embracing an idea of masculinity that is fluid, sensitive, and unequivocal.

“Masculinity is a state of mind, not a set of given rules,” the brand continued. “One that takes on different meanings and includes many qualities, both expected and not: courtesy, politeness, patience, vulnerability, wisdom, eccentricity. What makes a man is the dignity and openness to accept and embrace the contradictions of life, to evolve day by day, being truthful to one’s self, endlessly changing one’s perspective and attitudes.”

To accompany this campaign, a #WHATMAKESAMAN t-shirt has been designed to be sold in the brand’s stores. All the proceeds will be donated to a global charity supporting an education program to build up a better future.