Ste­fano Pi­lati Lets Loose With New Brand

WWD Digital Daily - - News - BY ARIA HUGHES

The de­signer spoke about why he in­tro­duced Ran­dom Iden­ti­ties and if he’d ever work for a lux­ury brand again.

MON­TREAL — Ste­fano Pi­lati de­camped from Ber­lin to Ssense’s head­quar­ters in Mon­treal to in­tro­duce his new uni­sex line, Ran­dom Iden­ti­ties, which will be sold at the Cana­dian e-tailer.

Ssense staffers lolled about their desks as guests filed in to watch the run­way show, which was ac­com­pa­nied by a mu­si­cal per­for­mance by Finn Lyn­den, seated at a pi­ano in the cen­ter of the aus­tere of­fices.

The col­lec­tion wasn’t too far from what Pi­lati had al­ready teased on so­cial me­dia: track pants, puffer jack­ets, bomber jack­ets, trousers, trench coats, over­size po­los and knit dresses in a mostly black pal­ette. It was what peo­ple wear ev­ery day, but he tin­kered with sil­hou­ettes. Most of the jack­ets draped off the mod­els’ shoul­ders or were cinched at the waist, while vo­lu­mi­nous track pants came in at the an­kle. Pi­lati de­signed a black, lace­less corset that he styled over T- shirts. Mod­els sported black leather boots, rem­i­nis­cent of the Margiela boots Pi­lati has worn but they had a rub­ber tip. Pi­lati was wear­ing the style as he greeted guests af­ter the show.

“This of­fered me a cer­tain amount of free­dom that I needed to get ac­cus­tomed to. I had to wash off a lot of mech­a­nisms and a lot of re­flexes. I was so em­bed­ded in what the sys­tem needed and tar­get­ing a spe­cific mar­ket with a spe­cific kind of her­itage and here it’s free. But it took time,” Pi­lati told WWD at the af­ter party, where he tried to recre­ate Ber­lin nightlife on an Ssense of­fice floor that over­looked Mon­treal. “The only dose of ego that I have in this project is I wear the clothes and I get in­spired by my ar­chive.”

Rami Atal­lah, the co­founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Ssense, said he started speak­ing with Pi­lati about the col­lec­tion around Jan­uary or Fe­bru­ary — the de­signer showed looks from the line in June via In­sta­gram sto­ries — and he had long ad­mired Pi­lati’s de­sign tal­ent. He was also in­trigued by the con­cept. It was Pi­lati’s idea to show the col­lec­tion, which re­tails from $115 to $530, at Ssense’s head­quar­ters and live- stream the show. The pieces were avail­able to pur­chase on Ssense im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing the event. They will also be avail­able at Dover Street Mar­ket.

“This is some­thing, in my opin­ion, that’s fresh and new. From the busi­ness model to the aes­thetic to the ap­proach,” said Atal­lah, who noted that the col­lec­tion will be mer­chan­dised in the men’s and women’s shop­ping ver­ti­cals on Ssense. “I feel that the world is look­ing for some­thing new and this is chal­leng­ing a lot of the rules and con­ven­tions.”

In an ar­ti­cle he pub­lished on Ssense’s web site, Pi­lati said the fol­low­ing: “Ran­dom stands for the ran­dom­ness of ex­is­tence, and Iden­ti­ties stands as a re­sponse to that ran­dom­ness. The two terms de­fine the space where peo­ple can iden­tify them­selves not with trends, but with per­son­al­ity, func­tion, qual­ity and de­sign. But above all, a con­fi­dence in in­te­grat­ing new codes in­dica­tive of the gen­der shift we are wit­ness­ing.”

Af­ter leav­ing Ermenegildo Zegna in 2016, Pi­lati moved to Ber­lin and soaked up the nightlife, which in­formed his new line. In ad­di­tion to hav­ing a new set of in­flu­ences, Pi­lati also seems to be frus­trated by the cur­rent crop of fash­ion de­sign­ers whom, he wrote, “are proud to be am­a­teurs with­out re­al­iz­ing the dam­age they do to the so­ci­ety at large.” He added: “Presently, I am an­gry with the sys­tem be­cause fash­ion skills have been re­duced to ap­plied ideas with­out method, but for­mats; pre- con­structed for­mats.”

“It’s a re­sponse of an ob­ser­va­tion that I have of a new gen­er­a­tion that I got in con­tact with dif­fer­ently than be­fore. When I worked for dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies, my as­sis­tants were young, but be­tween them and me there were four peo­ple, so I never had the chance to re­ally in­ter­act with them. So I lis­tened to my new friends around me,” said Pi­lati. “With my first line I said it can’t be selfish. It needs to be gen­er­ous be­cause I have the age to be gen­er­ous. Be­fore I was more into my ca­reer. I had come from noth­ing and I made it so you be­come jeal­ous of your ter­ri­tory. Now it’s like giv­ing, giv­ing, giv­ing.”

But with this new­found free­dom and sense of gen­eros­ity, would Pi­lati ever go back to work­ing for a lux­ury brand?

“I would never say never, be­cause that’s the motto. But I don’t think so,” said

Pi­lati. “Un­less it’s some­thing that I can tailor around my­self.”

The night ended with cock­tails and a per­for­mance from Ugly Birds, a band from Ber­lin that has only played live a few times. The lead singer, Josie Micha­lak, and band mem­ber Luki Von Der Gucht walked in the show. Pi­lati bounced around the floor, film­ing the band on his iPhone.

While he has a strat­egy in place for Ran­dom Iden­ti­ties, he didn’t want to re­veal the de­tails.

“I have a plan, but I’m also con­vinced that the plan will be way more ap­pre­ci­ated if I don’t talk about it,” he said.

Ran­dom Iden­ti­ties by Ste­fano Pi­lati.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.