Stefano Pilati leaves Zegna

The 51-year-old Italian designer bids farewell to Ermenegildo Zegna Couture after 3 years.

BY Patrick Chew | Feb 4, 2016 | Fashion

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Ermenegildo Zegna Group has confirmed that it is parting ways with Stefano Pilati, the head of design for Ermenegildo Zegna Couture. The departure was characterised as being by mutual agreement. 

"I want to thank Stefano for his contribution to Ermenegildo Zegna. We wanted to develop a strong point of view in fashion as well as style, and for Zegna to be a show not to be missed in Milan. We have reached this objective faster than expected. As we move on to write new chapters in Zegna's development, I wish Stefano well in his future endeavours," said Gildo Zegna, chief executive officer of the Zegna Group in a statement. 

Pilati added, "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. I now wish to focus on other projects that I had put aside in order to achieve our common goals with Zegna Couture." 

This news is sure to keep rumour mills churning for weeks. Could there have been a dispute that both parties are now trying to keep under wraps? Who might Pilati's successor be? Is it possible that Pilati is leaving fashion altogether? Whatever the case, one thing's for certain - 2016 sure as hell kicked off on an interesting note, considering the fact that Pilati is the third designer to exit a European menswear house this week (Italian fashion house Brioni saw the exit of its creative director Brendan Mullane, while Parisian label Berluti confirmed that designer Alessandro Sartori will leave the company). 

This follows the slew of departures late last year such as Raf Simons leaving Dior and Alber Elbaz parting ways with Lanvin after 14 years as creative director. With designers fast becoming fashion's equivalent of football free agents, it's perhaps safe to say that the industry, moving forward, will not be the same - whether for better or worse - we can only wait to find out.