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Ermenegildo Zegna explores the shifting definition of masculinity in its AW21 campaign

Ermenegildo Zegna suggests that it is time for us to reset the ideas of masculinity that we have.

What does it mean to be a man today? It’s a question with no definite answer since masculinity, and its ethos, is constantly in flux depending on the societal norms of the day. “The debate on masculinity is very heartfelt and has a tremendous impact on society,” says Gildo Zegna, CEO of Ermenegildo Zegna, once said in an interview. “To do this, when society is looking at masculinity, we need to not only be part of the conversation, but lead it.”

Since 2019, Ermenegildo Zegna has used its influential platform to redefine a man’s identity. The Italian menswear brand is continuing the conversation in its autumn/winter 2021 collection. Artistic director Alessandro Sartori has eschewed young male models in favour of diverse faces, including the androgynously styled female model Maggie Maurer, to front the campaign. You can watch the video below, which also features senior model Ingo Sliwinski alongside Jon Bronxl and Yura Nakano.

(Related: Ermenegildo Zegna updated its iconic Triple Stitch sneaker last season)

Of course, Ermenegildo Zegna is a fashion maison at its core and Sartori has used this season to continue blending the boundaries between home, work and leisure. The heart of this season’s collection is The New Jacket, Sartori’s alternative take on the usual sports blazer.

  • Ermenegildo Zegna's new overshirt that Sartori proposes as an alternative to the blazer.

What’s refreshing about Zegna’s autumn/winter 2021 campaign is the surprising lack of sartorial highlights. Instead, the gorgeous video and striking visuals supporting the campaign showcases diversity, and how that is beautiful in its own right.

It’s a sign of a fashion house confident in the quality of its products (it is Ermenegildo Zegna, after all) and choosing to use its platform to instigate debate around important issues such as sustainability and social issues.

What makes a man? The answer is up to you. But we’re inclined to have that conversation while wearing Sartori’s latest creations for Ermenegildo Zegna.

(Related: What is luxury leisurewear? This is Ermenegildo Zegna’s definition)