ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA Couture SS2014 "The New Éminences Grises" AD Campaign

ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA Couture SS2014 "The New Éminences Grises" AD Campaign in a video address screened in the JF Chen design gallery in Los Angeles, Stefano Pilati introduces his first advertising campaign for the brand. The reveal is another important step in the evolution of Ermenegildo Zegna following the presentation in Milan last June of Pilati’s first collection. The concept of the campaign as ‘the new éminences grises’, updating éminences grises, a term first penned in the 17th Century for François Leclerc du Tremblay, the highly influential right-hand man of Cardinal Richelieu, the leading cleric, nobleman and statesman. Today, grey eminences signify key figures occupying strategic positions in public office or private corporations, highly successful men of intellect and culture, who don’t necessarily appear as official spokesmen, instead they operate and yield their considerable power and influence behind the scenes. Powerful global personalities who have earned their success through their ability, expertise and culture, and whose leadership in tailoring style is reflected in the luxury and sartorial elegance of the Ermenegildo Zegna Couture collection. 

In place of a model, the Northern Irish Actor Jamie Dornan was chosen to embody the brand values and impersonate the Ermenegildo Zegna Couture man. Dornan does not appear alone, he is joined by a younger model, Paolo Anchisi, to play the supporting role. The concept, a narrative between two characters, in a union of tradition and innovation, style and substance, is captured in a sequence of portraits and product detail stills. In the collective imagination Zegna suggests, signifies and symbolises the power-suit and razor-sharp grey tailoring, the narrative serves to underline this and at the same time emphasise Zegna’s evolution and new era, where Pilati injects, innovates and evolves, in a contradictory yet complementary direction with subtle gestures and accents of soft colour.

Dornan’s role as a power figure emerges in the interaction between the two characters as a new take on éminences grises, his Ermenegildo Zegna Couture power-suit providing the fil rouge or thread linking the narrative. On his choice of lead for this role, Pilati comments “Jamie was our face of choice, not only because he is an accomplished actor, but also an unconventional model with a strong personal sense of style and substance. He has made understatement the key to his success.” 

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