Former Yves Saint Laurent creative director (from when it was called Yves Saint Laurent) Stefano Pilati debuted his first collection for his new employer, Ermenegildo Zegna at Men's Fashion Week in Milan Saturday and it's been pretty unanimously deemed a strong first outing.
An executive from the storied Italian company told the New York Times that Pilati was brought on to help rejuvenate the brand and increase its international appeal. In addition to a main menswear line, Pilati showed a section of "couture" menswear pieces of higher quality (and price).
Our first impression of the collection was that most looks were reminiscent of Pilati's own personal style--effortless, luxurious, tailored--which is certainly not a bad thing. If more men dressed like him, we wouldn't mind one bit.
Pilati also played with a mix of high-end fabrics including silks, linens, wools and mohair, which makes sense as he initially said the house's fabrics were part of what attracted him to the job. It was all subtly elegant in a masculine way. And while Ermenegildo Zegna has long had a reputation for tailoring and fabric, Pilati will likely give it more fashion relevance.
He told the Times' Suzy Menkes, "All the silhouettes of jackets are deconstructed and the aim was to find a way to represent the power of the company and at same time to give some poetry and elegance in a languid way."
Menkes called it a "strong debut show" and "a collection that successfully got under Zegna’s skin."
"It looks like he has finally found the right home," wrote Financial Times' Charlie Porter.
WWD concluded, "With this luxurious and confident collection, Pilati has raised the ante."
Even Cathy Horyn, notoriously hard to please (but generally a fan of Pilati's work), had nothing negative to say, calling the collection a "forceful debut."
Needless to say, we look forward to seeing more from Pilati, especially his womenswear debut for Agnona.
Click through to see the full collection.