Award-winning actor? Yes. Politic activist? Yes. But Robert De Niro as a fashion pitchman? Unheard of — but this season, Ermenegildo Zegna is tapping on to De Niro’s star wattage for a rare turn of roles in its Spring-Summer 2017 campaign, Defining Moments. Featured alongside De Niro is rising newcomer McCaul Lombardi, who had his break with American Honey (2016).

Although born of two different generations, both men share a heritage — both are Italian-American — and an apparent burning passion for what they do best. In the Francesco Carrozzini-directed campaign video, see these two actors take on a dialogue formed between one who’s richly experienced and another who has just begun. It’s a master-protégé conversation of sorts taking place under the LA sun and in head-to-toe Zegna.

It’s a clever move for Alessandro Sartori — who was appointed as Ermenegildo Zegna’s artistic director last February — to put the brand in a fresh, lighter tone. And Mr. Zegna certainly approves, “We didn’t want someone to be too formal, because Zegna is already too formal, too businesslike. I think Mr. De Niro has a casual, mature and more elegant style.”

Images & Video: Zegna