For a masterclass in building meaningful connections with one’s customers, look no further than Ermenegildo Zegna’s SS17 campaign, featuring the incomparable Robert De Niro in a surprisingly raw and honest conversation with young upstart McCaul Lombardi, who had a breakout role in 2016’s American Honey.
The short film, which features the duo traversing some very iconic Hollywood landscapes as they chat about life and everything in between, was shot by filmmaker Francesco Carrozzini under the artistic direction of Zegna’s Alessandro Sartori. This film also marks the beginning of Zegna’s new focus on creating a global community of passionate, stylish and successful men and fostering a dialogue among them. If Academy Award-winning De Niro is the inaugural face of this new Zegna man, we can’t wait to find out what more is in store. Here’s five things we learnt about De Niro from this 2.5 minute film.
1. He sure knows how to rock a suit
No surprises for guessing that De Niro is impeccably togged out in Zegna threads, but what is more impressive is that he handpicked his wardrobe for the film. From a sharp black and white suit - worn without a tie for some casual elegance - to pants that are hemmed with utmost precision to draw attention to his Italian loafers, De Niro sure suits up with panache.
2. He gives great life advice
The Raging Bull actor wants everybody to know they should chase their ambitions, no matter how farfetched their dreams may seem. He tells Lombardi, “I always tell people not to be afraid to take a chance, for a part or something else. Even if it doesn’t look like you’re gonna get it, most likely you won’t (but) if you don’t go, you’ll never know.”
3. He appreciates quality
Of all the greats he has worked with and learnt from, one pearl of wisdom from American actor Jack Warden, who he co-starred with in the 1992 movie Night and the City, stands out. According to De Niro, one of the best pieces of advice he ever received was from Warden, who told him, “Well, nobody’s a bargain.”
4. He is a commitment-phobe
Television series may offer actors a chance to really sink their teeth into a juicy role, but De Niro does not seem to relish that, preferring instead to stick to the glamour of Tinseltown. “If you had a (tv) pilot and it was picked up, then you had years of commitment,” he quips.
5. He would rather walk than drive
His New York City roots reveal themselves when De Niro confides that he prefers walking to driving. He jokes that when he has to be in Los Angeles for work, the city’s infamous freeways get him confused and admits he has gotten lost while trying to visit friends in Beverly Hills before.