Stefano Pilati Talks YSL, But Very Cautiously

Photo: Imaxtree

Stefano Pilati is now happily ensconced in his role at Ermenegildo Zegna, where he began working in January, about a year after his dismissal from Saint Laurent (R.I.P. Yves). In a new profile in WSJ. magazine, he discusses what he did during his time off, how happy he is, and how much he prefers this job to that other one — without going all-out Nicolas Ghesquière, of course.

Zegna has allowed Pilati to do everything on his own terms, even move his design studio to his home in Berlin, instead of Milan, where the company's headquarters are located. (Ironically, that sounds quite similar to what his L.A.-dwelling successor, Hedi Slimane, has arranged with Paris-based Saint Laurent.) He adds that the company is also much better organized than *ahem* his former employer, on the whole:

Zegna's platform is really solid, unlike my previous job, where I had to put everything in place and therefore had to be present physically all the time. Zegna has a highly effective machine, a logistical structure that is trained to work in such a way that I can come straight in with my ideas and begin directing.

He adds that he also really benefited from taking some time off, especially after the rat race of collection after collection:

I did take nine months off — at least physically speaking — which allowed me to think about the possibilities while planning my new life, to plan ahead in a broader way, without an immediate deadline.

Moral of the story: Sometimes, getting fired can be great.