by Stephen Garner

This season, Zegna’s #WhatMakesAMan concept evolves to include a new perspective. 

The luxury Italian brand’s new spring/summer 2021 campaign presents an opportunity for loved ones to consider the contemporary ideals that matter when it comes to the men in their lives by asking: “What makes my man?” Offering a more intimate portrait of individuals and relationships, Zegna captures the bond between model, singer, and songwriter Gabriel-Kane Day-Lewis and his mother, five-time César Award-winning actress Isabelle Adjani.

Illuminating an outlook that is entirely her own, Adjani turns the camera on Day-Lewis and presents an earnest vision of her son. “Sometimes my son sounds like he has an old soul,” said Adjani. “Behind the boy that’s sometimes rebellious and really stubborn, there is so much wisdom and beautiful philosophy about love and kindness and generosity.” Together, the mother and son reflect on the lessons and values that make Day-Lewis the man he is today and express how important it is to grow up with positive principles that are passed down by the ones closest to us.

Zegna’s journey continues in a more personal direction as it explores the uniqueness of the stories and experiences of the modern man. Through this lens, the brand also captures an intimate portrait of Chinese actor Li Xian alongside Noonoouri, the digital character that has made sustainability the center of her virtual activity. This unexpected pair reflect on the contemporary values they stand for, reminding us that masculinity is not a fixed idea or rigid set of rules set out by others. Rather, masculinity is a fluid concept and a deeply personal state of mind.

These dynamic individuals are all photographed against a natural backdrop inspired by Oasi Zegna, the birthplace of the brand. They showcase the spring/summer 2021 collection envisioned in fluid silhouettes and earthy colors that reflect this lush landscape. It is here that the brand’s founder Ermenegildo Zegna ignited its lifelong pursuit of protecting the environment when he began planting more than 500,000 trees to establish a free-access nature park stretching 100 square-km from Trivero to the peaks of the Biella Alps in Northern Italy.

Honoring its legacy of sustainability, the spring/summer 2021 collection features reimagined wardrobe classics that continue to use more of its #UseTheExisting fabrics reworked for a new life. Much like the brand’s evolving ideas about masculinity, these fabrics are redefined to make the dream of zero waste possible. #UseTheExisting materials are recovered to create Zegna’s featured modern tailoring looks, extended to include bombers and shirt-jackets for a reinterpretation of the monochromatic suit. The campaign also highlights luxury leisurewear comprised of hybrid garments in casual silhouettes that are fluid, comfortable, and adaptable.