MILAN – Javier Bardem and Dev Patel in a playful game of golf with a rugby ball? It’s not the set of the latest Hollywood movie, but one of the images artistic director Alessandro Sartori has conceived with photographer Craig McDean for Ermenegildo Zegna’s spring/summer 2018 campaign.
The campaign is the third chapter of the brand’s Defining Moments multichannel project that was first launched a year ago, and which paired Robert De Niro with McCaul Lombardi for the spring 2017 season.
“It’s a concept that has evolved, transforming life’s special moments into important ones,” Sartori told WWD.
This is the first time Patel and Bardem, who has worn the Italian men’s wear brand on the red carpet and official occasions several times, have worked together and it’s also the first time McDean has collaborated with Sartori.
The designer described Bardem and Patel as “authentic.” This campaign “is not about a generational gap between the two actors, or the fact that one is more mature and the other is establishing his career, but it’s more about the West meeting the East and about ethnicity — they represent Europe and Asia,” explained Sartori, referring to the fact that Patel was born in London to Indian parents and Bardem is Spanish.
Bardem, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the psychopathic assassin Anton Chigurh in the 2007 movie “No Country for Old Men,” and Patel, known for his breakthrough role as Jamal Malik in “Slumdog Millionaire” and Academy Awards Best Supporting Actor nominee for “Lion,” together “had a special chemistry,” continued Sartori.
In addition to the images, due to bow on Tuesday, McDean has filmed four 60-second videos, which will run online starting Feb. 22.
Sartori said the connection between the two actors was “special,” as they were captured in moments of daily life, and they easily share experiences in a lighthearted way and “witty banter. The interaction is interesting and the tone is friendly and intelligent. They are professionals and very serious but they come across exactly as they are. There is an element of lightness, irony and nonchalance.”
The campaign was shot in the Los Angeles hills with a modern house in the background.
Sartori said McDean’s experience in making music videos will contribute to the success of the campaign, which will have a strong digital component. McDean is a “fabulous talent,” like Francesco Carrozzini, he said, who created the two previous Defining Moments campaigns. The second one, for fall 2017, was again fronted by De Niro, flanked by French choreographer Benjamin Millepied, the founder of the LA Dance Project and the former director of the Paris Opera Ballet.
“We invest much more on the online channels than before, and we are working a lot on these videos, which are truly short movies, filmed with cinematographic techniques,” contended Sartori. “It’s not only young people who are keen on videos; everyone wants to tell and watch stories with content.”
The company will tease the campaign on Instagram, with a playful series of stories, showing, for example, how Bardem and Patel work out the pronunciation of the brand.