Cesvi's "Houses of Smiles" project in South Africa.

GIVING BACK: In its quest to redefine masculinity, which kicked off with the latest communication campaign, the Ermenegildo Zegna Group is launching a charity initiative called “From A to Zegna,” aimed at promoting educational programs globally.

Partnering with Italy-based humanitarian organization Cesvi, the Ermenegildo Zegna brand is selling white T-shirts bearing words such as love, change and freedom, all qualities seen as making a man today. Proceeds from the sale will benefit Cesvi’s projects.

An Ermenegildo Zegna's T-shirt supporting the "From A to Zegna" charity initiative.

An Ermenegildo Zegna’s T-shirt supporting the “From A to Zegna” charity initiative.  Courtesy Photo.

The T-shirts are available starting today in all Zegna flagships and will be sold on the brand’s web site starting Tuesday.

The educational programs are aimed at promoting positive behavioral changes among youth and protecting vulnerable children around the world. They include workshops, group discussions and tie-ups with universities. The company stressed each initiative will answer the needs of the local community it addresses.

The partnership with Cesvi is carried out through the Fondazione Zegna, which since 2000 has been promoting a range of philanthropic initiatives spanning landmarks’ restoration, sustainable development as well as education. For example, in 2014 the group debuted the Ermenegildo Zegna Founder’s Scholarship, with which it pledged to provide 1 million euros each year to enable talented Italian graduates to pursue postgraduate studies or conduct research outside of Italy.

Cesvi was founded in 1985 in Bergamo, Italy, and now operates in 23 countries through about 100 projects called “Houses of Smiles” in Africa, Latina America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Ermenegildo Zegna’s new communication campaign maps out a new path for the group, which is reaching out to its customers to discuss the concept of masculinity. The campaign, fronted by the group’s chief executive officer Gildo Zegna, in addition to Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali, and singer and actor Nicholas Tse, was officially presented in New York on Sept. 5.

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