Fashion Wire Daily - Paris - You can't keep a good man down. Seven months after leaving a major design post in Paris, Stefano Pilati has landed a key position in Milan.
Pilati has just been named creative director of the Ermenegildo Zegna, overseeing the masculine couture collection of the family-owned tailoring empire, which is also one of the leading men's apparel manufacturers on the planet.
In March, Pilati left his position as creative director of Yves Saint Laurent after a much-applauded eight-year stint at the legendary Paris fashion house, subsequently being replaced by Hedi Slimane. At the time, Pilati told FWD that he intended taking a long break from fashion. It turned out to be barely half a year. Though Zegna and Pilati stressed that he will only take up his new position on Jan. 1, 2013.
"I am very excited to be joining Ermenegildo Zegna, especially as half of my wardrobe has been produced by Zegna," Pilati told FWD on Wednesday, Sept. 5.
Besides Zegna, Pilati will also be responsible for Agnona, a cashmere specialist that is also controlled by the Zegna family. Pilati noted that his first walk back down a catwalk would be in June 2013 when he will present the menswear collection of Zegna in Milan. He has no immediate plans to stage an Agnona show, though was very excited about this women's specialist label.
"Agnona is vicuna, alpaca, cashmere and kid lambs wool; and what is better than that?" Pilati told FWD in a call from his apartment in Paris.
Pilati is a highly-experienced designer who got an expert grounding in textiles in his first internship with Nino Cerruti back in the late Eighties, before going on to become a design assistant in the menswear division of Giorgio Armani.
Subsequently he joined the Prada group as design director of Miu Miu's men's and women's collections, before moving to Gucci during the Tom Ford era. After the Gucci Group acquired YSL, Pilati moved to that brand as design director before being named creative director in 2004.
During his past 12 years, at both Gucci and YSL, the tailoring elements in the menswear collections that Pilati designed for both brands were produced by Zegna.
"It's always tricky to leave any house, but I look back on my career at Saint Laurent very fondly. I am proud of what I achieved and created there. And, I left a house making a profit, which was not the case when I arrived," added Pilati.
Widely regarded as one of the half dozen most important designers to have emerged from the Italian peninsula in the past decade, Pilati stressed that he wanted time to consider all the aspects of his new role.
"I think a break from fashion, a sortie from its continual seasons can be very fruitful. In the meantime I plan to spend some good times in Berlin," he laughed.