2010 April 13
Pilati at YSL: On the Rocks?
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(NEW YORK) One chic Stefano is most certainly in—but what of that other fashion heavyweight with the same prénom—you know, Stefano Pilati? During Paris Fashion Week, the buzz au Ritz focused on Pilati's sales performance. According to top retailers, YSL's accessories sell well—which makes sense, given Pilati's foundation in shoes and bags—but the ready-to-wear pieces fail to resonate with consumers. Accordingly, so the rumors went, PPR has been searching for a new creative director for YSL. The critics also appear unconvinced. "Although cloaked in an attitude of protection, the show seemed to expose the vulnerability of the designer," wrote Cathy Horyn on March 9.
The rumors intensified at last night's Metropolitan Opera Gala, YSL's biggest event of the year in America. Pilati has wowed the crowds for the last two years running—usually, with Anna Wintour by his side—but last night, neither made an appearance. Even yesterday afternoon, publicists from both YSL and Rubenstein Public Relations had his name on the event's tip sheet—but Pilati never made it to Lincoln Center. "He was busy with current work on the collection as well as the advertising campaign," said YSL's U.S. spokeswoman.
Pilati was named creative director of YSL in 2004, following the exit of Tom Ford. Previously, he served as head of design for YSL's men's and women's collections.
UPDATE: Spokespersons at YSL deny any rift between Pilati and the brand. In fact, they insist that Pilati will be here in New York for the Costume Institute Gala on May 3 (though the company is not buying a table) and will also showcase the Cruise collection in the city. Valérie Hermann, the CEO of Yves Saint Laurent in America, addressed the absence of the designer at the festivities during last night’s dinner speech. “Finally, Stefano Pilati, YSL’s creative director, has asked me to convey how sorry he is not to be able to join us tonight, and sends his very best wishes from Paris, where he is busy with the coming collection, “ she said. “Somebody still has to work in this company.”
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