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30-09-2012
  16
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Really excited about it. Good for Stefano, plus I never heard of Agnona before, so I'm really curious how he'll settle himself at the brand.

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30-09-2012
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Great news, I'm very happy for him!
I will miss very badly Stefano for YSL!

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30-09-2012
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I literally cannot wait for Pilati's first collection with Agnona. Yves Saint Laurent was one of the highlights of fashion month with him at the helm, it will be very interesting to see what he does with a different brand.
As interesting as that little article is, the way it is finished makes it sound as if Mr Zegna is saying "We want Mr Pilati to give us a Tribute shoe equivalent!"

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20-05-2013
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It's so strange there isn't any follow up on what's to come from him and Zegna when we get zillion articles from Dior Raf or Hedi SLP. As boring as menswear is, it's Stefano Pilati, one of the greatest designer nowadays. I refuse to believe there's no journalist who wants to interview him.

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20-05-2013
  20
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^ I find that extremely weird aswell. Maybe they're taking their time? I mean it's menswear but also the re-launch of Agnona, they're gonna have to do some press. I remember the CEO of Zegna saying his first collection would've been the Agnona resort 2014, to be presented in early june - i don't know if they've changed their plans about it.

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20-05-2013
  21
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I'm excited to see what he will do here, I bet any money it will be amazing.

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20-05-2013
  22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flashbang View Post
It's so strange there isn't any follow up on what's to come from him and Zegna when we get zillion articles from Dior Raf or Hedi SLP. As boring as menswear is, it's Stefano Pilati, one of the greatest designer nowadays. I refuse to believe there's no journalist who wants to interview him.
Well let's be honest, Stefano was never a "hit designer" in terms of popularity and praise like Raf and Hedi, and his new job is considerably less prestigious than his last. But i'm sure when menswear week comes around we'll hear from him.

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30-05-2013
  23
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Finally, we have something ! First show June 22nd.

Quote:
GOING TO TUMBLR: Ahead of Stefano Pilati’s debut as creative director of Agnona and of Ermenegildo Zegna Couture with the latter’s show on June 22, the first Zegna Group Tumblr bowed Monday.

In addition to offering a glimpse into Pilati’s world and way of thinking, the Tumblr is to be considered as “a tutorial for the correct pronunciation” of the two brands, which share the gn letters — difficult to pronounce by non-Italians.

Pilati collaborated with Matt Mason, author of “The Pirate’s Dilemma” on the gn-project. Slides of words from Pilati’s vocabulary will be projected in an empty room. “Stefano Pilati’s medium is fashion. He uses fabrics to create his point of view and is a master in the use of means of communications,” said Mason. “Pilati is something of a pirate, a pirate in fashion. He rebelled against the system when it didn’t follow him and with his ‘manifests’ [while at Yves Saint Laurent] brought his image on the streets, letting his mind do the talking.”
http://www.wwd.com/fashion-news/fash...shion/20130528

The blog looks very interesting. It's very SP and reminds me of his video days at YSL homme. http://gn-project.tumblr.com/

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31-05-2013
  24
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^i love it. i love the fact that they chose to do this around the 'gn' sound, it's pretty hilarious to me, as an italian-speaking person. (they should also do something about ermenegildo, that's hard to pronounce even to us, i can't even imagine to foreigners).

anyway, so, no resort for agnona? they announced it and then nothing? i'm disappointed

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11-06-2013
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Things are really beginning to look interesting!
Quote:
Stefano Pilati Puts The Art Back Into Fashion

STEFANO PILATI will host an artistic installation to mark his debut collection for Ermenegildo Zegna. The event will launch on June 22, the opening day of the Milan Menswear Fashion Week schedule.

The designer has enlisted the help of Swedish film director Johan Söderberg, Swedish music producer Klas Ahlund - who has worked with Madonna and Kylie Minogue - and French composer Maxence Cyrin on the project, reports WWD. The outdoor event will be staged in Piazza VI Febbraio - the former site of the city's old fairgrounds - and will be open to the public. It was selected for its size and will seat 1,000 guests.

"It's a historical location, but it will have a futuristic edge," said a Zegna spokesperson, adding that the installation will have "mammoth dimensions".

Little more is known about the details of the project , which will run for three days - closing on June 25. Stefano Pilati, formerly creative director at Yves Saint Laurent, was named head of design at Zegna and its secondary womenswear line, Agnona, in September last year. According to WWD, Pilati is planning a similar artistic installation in Milan in September for his debut Agnona collection - during which he plans to "interact with the city".
Source: vogue.co.uk

I can't wait! Unfortunately though, it seems there will be no resort collection for Agnona.

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10-10-2013
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Designer Stefano Pilati Discusses the Future of Menswear
When Ermenegildo Zegna sought to change his company's profile, he turned to former YSL designer Stefano Pilati. With his debut collection, Pilati reflects on the future of menswear and the excitement of finding a new creative home

Stefano Pilati in his studio. Photos by Nan Goldin


Quote:
For anyone fortunate enough to know how it feels to wear Stefano Pilati's drop-dead elegant clothes, the news that the distinguished designer—equal parts tailoring and tattoos—is once again exerting his subtle influence on the fashion world is welcome news. Hardly had the dust settled on his departure from YSL last year when Ermenegildo Zegna, a giant of the luxury textile industry, courted him to design both menswear and the company's ready-to-wear women's line, Agnona.

With his extensive firsthand experience in Italian fashion (from Cerruti , where he made his first apprenticeship at the age of 18, to Armani, Prada and Gucci), his passion for luxury fabrics as the building blocks of fashion and his burning curiosity for all things new, Pilati is poised to transform the venerable, century-old Italian fashion house through what CEO Gildo Zegna describes as a "fast-forward approach to menswear," shaped by "the apparent contradiction between industry and savoir faire."

'Men have become more and more body-conscious,' Pilati says, 'and that consciousness is exercised in a closely defined silhouette.'

Several months into the job, with his first collections for Zegna Couture drawing praise, Pilati discusses with his friend and occasional collaborator Louise Neri (a director at Gagosian gallery) how he came to this phase of his career and what it means to return to his roots from a new place he calls home.

--
Louise Neri: You left YSL in 2012. How did you prepare for your reentry into fashion?

Stefano Pilati: First, I had to decide whether I wanted to continue with fashion or not. I took some time off, traveled around Europe; I decided to move from Paris. I planned to find another city, where I would like to live. But in the end, a lot of my time off was spent negotiating the proposal from Zegna.

Neri: Was it difficult for you to take a sabbatical?

Pilati: In fashion you are constantly under pressure to be on the pulse, and as the pulse gets faster and faster, you need to grab it and be ahead. So time off can't really be entertained. But 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. What was good is that I moved away from an epicenter of fashion, to Berlin, a city where fashion is just not that present.

Neri: Looking back, was that a deliberate choice? Or did it just happen?

Pilati: Both. The convergence of circumstances made me pay attention to a certain city—Berlin—and while that was happening I discovered that it was important for me not to feel so much under the pressure of fashion, as I did in Paris. There, just walking from home to the office I was bombarded by changing shop windows, new collection arrivals—it was never a relaxed walk! Berlin is not like that at all.

Neri: In recent years Berlin has meant the same for many international visual artists who visit from abroad for residencies and end up staying because there is less market heat and noise; it offers peace and calm, as well as large affordable spaces.

Pilati: Same for me. Recently I returned from a trip to London, and I realized that even the architectural aspects of Berlin that I don't like do, in fact, reflect my own time. Paris, New York, London and Milan are seductive historical cities, whereas Berlin has been virtually rebuilt during my lifetime. This is totally new for me; when I walk around, I am not seduced or weighed down by the past. Now I look forward.

Neri: What made you decide to locate your new studio in Berlin, far from the Zegna headquarters in Milan?

Pilati: This is a whole different approach. I can be far from the Zegna headquarters and yet it works very well. 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.

Neri: Can you describe your studio?

Pilati: For the first time in my life, I have my own work/live studio. It is a beautiful old building. The studio is on the ground floor; I am living temporarily on the first floor, and I am building a modern penthouse on the roof. Each day I literally jump out of bed, take a shower, have breakfast and start work. This dynamic is totally new for me. I like it because everything becomes very personal and close. I am surrounded by my own vibe. The first floor houses my archive. When I left Paris, I ended a 30-year period during which I had accumulated a lot of clothes. I ended up with a vast wardrobe for every kind of category, so I needed the space to store everything.

Neri: So it's a working archive?

Pilati: Very much so. It's my wardrobe, so I can take anything out and wear it, getting inspiration from clothes that I made, acquired or were prototypes. There are clothes I bought when I was 16.

Neri: Critics remarked that your first Zegna collection epitomized a new, more relaxed approach to menswear. How does Zegna as a brand—and your redesign of it—reflect contemporary men's needs?

Pilati: Zegna couture reflects a luxurious lifestyle. I've always pushed the feeling of being at ease with masculine vanity. Journalists reduced this idea to dandyism, which I consider outdated. Long before my engagement with Zegna, I sensed this new potential in menswear. It was important that my first collection project an easy language. Before I even put the show together, I asked myself how I could make Zegna distinctive in this evolving landscape. I wanted to emphasize a studied nonchalance in dressing up for men.

Neri: How consciously did you infuse your own personal aesthetic into your first collection?

Pilati: Because of the feedback I get, I know that my personal style can have resonance in the market. The "broken suit" and "after six" are all part of how I choose to dress. I have a big and very colorful wardrobe. From this I can put together many looks in different ways. A large wardrobe is a luxury, so the use of color was in itself an indicator of luxury, a gesture of ease. This was my main way of making the brand distinctive. The idea of the "broken suit" comes more or less from the same concept. The height of chic is to take a jacket from one suit and pants from another, where the shades perfectly match and it looks like a suit, but it reveals a personality that is a bit different. It is formal, original, classic and, at the same time, shows that you have possibilities and status.

Neri: What did Gildo think you could do for Zegna?

Pilati: He wanted to upgrade Zegna to a fashion brand. Zegna is an institution of textile manufacturing worldwide. It is a very safe place for men to buy quality menswear characterized by a lack of excess—formal, but not too old, and not too young either. They did a great job diversifying in other categories, such as Zegna Sport and Z Zegna, with lower prices and broader fashion appeal, and the flagship brand, Ermenegildo Zegna. Then three years ago they began doing fashion shows to grab attention in the fashion world. It was successful to a certain extent. At that point Gildo wanted to upgrade the company's image.

Neri: Gildo Zegna has said that his company aspires to be a global brand. How will you attune the company profile to a global market?

Pilati: I'm responsible for the image of Ermenegildo Zegna via the new Couture line, which is 90 percent made by hand. Couture contemplates different categories—not just suits but also outerwear, knitwear, shoes, bags and so on. But Couture will influence all the other labels by tuning and aligning the logistical, creative aspect of the entire brand. Zegna has never had a creative director with a broad vision. So my direction will help transform it from a service brand into a fashion brand.

Neri: What is it like to try and steer Zegna toward your point of view?

Pilati: I find Zegna, with Gildo at its head, to be extremely open; they desired a collaboration with someone who could challenge their position. But my vision for Zegna is not to make a revolution; I admire what they have already done, and I remain interested in evolving what they have begun. The first collection did just that, giving my personal touch while maintaining and highlighting its established codes.

Neri: You've said that "a man should still look like a man, a woman should still look like a woman, and the codes are the same as 20, 30, 40 years ago." In your past collections for men and women, masculine and feminine signifiers were in constant interplay. How does that manifest itself in your menswear collection?

Pilati: I'm addressing my fashion to a certain audience, to men—as opposed to boys—who interact with a certain professional world that is much larger than the fashion world. Men have become more and more body-conscious, and that consciousness is exercised in a closely defined silhouette. Whereas women can be body-conscious while maintaining a more fluid silhouette; the body can be visible through loose, transparent or floating fabric. We don't find this in menswear. I am intrigued by this and how to express it in classic menswear. It's an attitude to dressing up that can be more feminine, less strict. Having said that, I'm not about to start advocating skirts for men!
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10-10-2013
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Cont.

Quote:
Neri: What are some of your signature features?

Pilati: Shoes without laces. Jacket sleeves without buttons. In this case, I curve the cuff to avoid the need for buttons. Additionally this allows for the jacket to be individually tailored by the customer. A lapel that's not too large, not too small, but a neutral hybrid that still looks elegant. Classic shirts like Polo shirts, but still with the perfect defining collar; scarves because they can totally change the style of a person. And big overcoats, which I love because they are comfortable and have a fluid silhouette, dramatic volume and great presence.

Neri: You are an expatriate Italian, a cosmopolitan rather than a nationalist; does this create an attraction between you and Zegna, a quintessential Italian brand?

Pilati: Definitely. I said I would never return to Italy, and they accepted it. Being away allows me greater objectivity about Italian style, which Zegna typifies. My style is classic but original and eclectic. I pick up from all kinds of influences and put them together in my own way. I think my profile, my characteristics and my design are seductive to them. It feels logical to us to be working together.

Neri: What excites you most about working with Zegna?

Pilati: I am one of the only designers today who has a huge company with such vast competence and skills behind him. Zegna can do anything. However, the company is so big that sometimes making a move is like moving a mountain and requires a lot of energy. At the same time, they are so open-minded and curious. In the area of fabric technology, being huge means that it is difficult to push research and development too far. Having said that, they are super avant-garde in terms of new techniques of evolving natural fibers with enhancing components.

Neri: You also have a long history in textile R&D.

Pilati: Zegna was one of the first factories I visited when I was an 18-year-old novice—I joked with them recently that they didn't remember me as a kid, but I remember them! And in all my past jobs, I frequently used Zegna fabrics. When I accepted this role, I visited the Zegna factory and the archive even before I visited the headquarters, and it was so striking that I told Gildo I wanted to have my office there.

This first impression inspired a short film for the first show—the enormous power I felt there, the organization, the machines (which formed the basis for a sort of ballet mecanique and the musical score), and the workers dedicated to these natural fibers. I wanted to visually juxtapose the machine with artisanal savoir faire to show how the two come together in the contemporary vision of Zegna.

Neri: What is your relationship to contemporary art?

Pilati: Since the age of 18 I have had a keen interest in contemporary art, beginning with the Italian Arte Povera movement. When I started working at Prada, the company was already creating its own art programs, while the general interest in contemporary art was climbing to new levels internationally. As a person with a keen visual sensibility, I have always surrounded myself with the art and objects of my time, from works by Matthew Barney , Andy Warhol , Rosemarie Trockel and Richard Serra , to bespoke furniture by designers such as Martino Gamper and Andrea Branzi.

Neri: Do you consider fashion designers to be artists?

Pilati: Not really. My clothes live in a space, a moment, a time. Ultimately what interests me is that you wear them, you feel them, you look at yourself, and that process transmits a sense of aesthetic usefulness and elegance.

Having said that, in the process of moving I came across some of my own paintings, and suddenly they seem interesting to me again. When I made them in 1998, I was at a crossroads in my career. In the end, as I was already highly skilled and experienced in fashion and untrained in art, I chose to stay where I was. But looking at these paintings now, I'm reminded of how I felt at the time, that they provided me with a space of pure process and sensation where I could directly express myself. That's a powerful feeling!
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11-10-2013
  28
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Great read, it says a lot about his state of mind. I had sensed his desire to lay low, as he's really taken a step out of the limelight since starting at Zegna -- I think that's a smart and rare decision in the age we're living in where the designer has become more known and present than the collections they are putting forth. I also loved the line about masculine vanity against the outdated concept of dandyism, and designing for men and not boys. I hope he realizes that's what woman want from him as well, feminine vanity versus something girly. His first collection for Agnona, while solid, wasn't hitting with the power and sexiness that I know he's a capable of.

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11-10-2013
  29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherAnne View Post
Great read, it says a lot about his state of mind. I had sensed his desire to lay low, as he's really taken a step out of the limelight since starting at Zegna -- I think that's a smart and rare decision in the age we're living in where the designer has become more known and present than the collections they are putting forth. I also loved the line about masculine vanity against the outdated concept of dandyism, and designing for men and not boys. I hope he realizes that's what woman want from him as well, feminine vanity versus something girly. His first collection for Agnona, while solid, wasn't hitting with the power and sexiness that I know he's a capable of.

i agree with every single word. i'm also very upset that that agnona collection is nearly impossible to find outside milan. i'd love to see the items in person, the black outfits are really interesting. wtf. you'd think an italian brand would be easy to find in the country's capital.

more on topic, there's a short feature on stefano (and his boyfriend chris) on the current issue of fantastic man:



that's rather... interesting (sorry my scanner's broke so these pics will do)

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11-10-2013
  30
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There is an article about him and Agnona in US Vogue's October issue (page 244.) It says he wanted his first collection to be low-key (as in now runway show, I hope that changes!) Stefano says he absolutely loved his last YSL collection and has no regrets.

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