The designer shuffle is not over yet. After a whirlwind of movement earlier this year (Jil Sander, Hedi Slimane, Raf Simons, et. al), there was one designer who had yet to declare his new home—until now. Last week Ermenegildo Zegna Group announced its appointment of Stefano Pilati to its most senior design posts at the company.
Beginning on January 1, Pilati will take over as creative director of Agnona, a womenswear line still somewhat of a niche brand, and as head of design at Ermenegildo Zegna. The latter includes producing fashion shows for Zegna as well as for the Ermenegildo Zegna Couture collection, built on sartorial, hand-stitched suits in precious fabrics.
The former creative director of Yves Saint Laurent may not have been the first to come to mind to take the helm of the menswear line, but as it happens, Zegna had produced some of the menswear for YSL during Pilati’s tenure there. And Pilati certainly has a knack for tailoring, as evident in his many collections at YSL.
In an interview with WWD, Pilati said: “Ours is a collaboration I find particularly compelling in the current landscape of luxury and high fashion — one in which I will have opportunity to apply my technical expertise across brands, divisions and categories, with my own creative impulse and aesthetic vision.”
With menswear on the rise, brands like Brioni and Berluti are stepping up their fashion quotient by hiring power designers, like Brendan Mullane from Givenchy and Alessandro Sartori from Z Zegna. Zegna is clearly following suit—and then some—with the appointment of Pilati.
As for Agnona, the somewhat conservative, high quality Italian ready to wear line has plans to expand rapidly over the next few years.