|Born||1965 (age 51–52)
Milan, Lombardy, Italy
|Known for||Head designer for Yves Saint Laurent fashion house (2004-2012)
Head designer for Ermenegildo Zegna and creative director of AGNONA (2012-2015).
Stefano Pilati (born 1965 in Milan) is an Italian fashion designer. From 2004 until 2012, he was the head designer of the fashion house Yves Saint Laurent. In late 2012 he left and became head of design at Ermenegildo Zegna, where he is responsible for the Italian house's couture collections, a role that he held until February 2016. In tandem with that position, he also headed Zegna's Agnona brand (women's apparel) until July 2015.
Having seen his hometown grow into a fashion hotspot in the 1980s, Pilati gave up his course in environmental design and joined the fashion house Cerruti as an intern. He thus decided to embrace Milan's fashion scene and set out to learn everything there was to know about ready-to-wear apparel materials and production. A velvet manufacturer offered him his first job. A few months later, Pilati was designing that company's entire collection, and presenting it to Europe's leading ready-to-wear names.
The fashion house Giorgio Armani hired him as an assistant in its men's ready-to-wear department in 1993, and the fashion house Prada asked Pilati to run its fabric research and development in 1995.
In 2000, Pilati joined fashion house Yves Saint Laurent to run its ready-to-wear clothing design; he became head designer in 2004, replacing Tom Ford who had started his own brand. During his tenure as head designer, Pilati was responsible for creating fashion staples such as the tulip skirt, as well as extremely successful accessories such as the Muse bag, and the YSL Tribute sandal.
In 2012, on the 27th of February, Pilati left Yves Saint Laurent as the creative director which is a position he had held since 2004. Pilati signed on at Ermenegildo Zegna nine months later, becoming the head of design at Ermenegildo Zegna and creative director of Agnona, overseeing Zegna's fashion show and the couture collection. Of the break, he said: "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."
In February 2016, Stefano stepped down from his role at Zegna. "I have given much consideration to this decision and after thoughtful conversations with Gildo Zegna, we have reached the conclusion that the mission he entrusted me with had been fulfilled," he said in a release. "I now wish to focus on other projects that I had put aside in order to achieve our common goals with Zegna Couture."
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