“You can be whatever you want, can’t you?” asks English artist Dick Jewell at the open of Bottega Veneta: Men, the short film from Daniel Lee, creative director of the Italian fashion house, and filmmaker Tyrone Lebon. That question, along with others, centers the project’s exploration of what exact qualities make a man.
Men is Lee’s first film since joining Bottega Veneta in 2018, and features Jewell alongside London musician Obongjayar, English producer and MC Tricky, Swedish singer-songwriter Neneh Cherry, Irish actor Barry Keoghan, Scottish dancer Michael Clark, the mysterious young Roman, English painter George Rouy, and Italian-born Richard Bolle, who is the principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre.
Throughout the film, its subjects confront traditional notions of masculinity, which they present as limiting and even damaging. “In my youth, I’d never seen men make physical contact apart from punching each other,” Clark says wearing an all-black Bottega