One of the most provocative designers working this century, Stefano Pilati forged an identifiable design signature as Creative Director of Yves Saint Laurent from 2004-2012. Born in Milan in 1965, Pilati’s induction into the fashion industry was part and parcel of growing up in a family of stylish women and a city where the fashion scene was thriving. From a seasonal job at the Milan shows, Pilati interned at Nina Cerruti before joining Giorgio Armani in 1993. It was here during an eighteen-month stint in Armani’s menswear studio – where he developed his knowledge of fabric research and development, skills he continues to perfect to this day – that Pilati’s talent caught the attention of the Prada Group. In 1995 he left Armani and began working for Miu Miu and Jil Sander, a position he held for five years. In 2000 he joined Yves Saint Laurent to design women’s ready-to-wear, which swiftly went on to include the men’s collections as well. In 2002 Pilati was promoted to head of design for all Yves Saint Laurent product lines including accessories, before receiving the recognition he rightly deserved and being appointed creative director of the label in 2004. Making a distinct departure from Tom Ford’s high-sexed imagery, Pilati redefined the silhouette of the YSL woman and elevated the brand to the 21st century. Under his guidance, YSL today trod the right balance between elegance and modernist, while still catering for exactly what the Parisian chic women demand from YSL. As well as the mainline women’s and men’s collections, and a massive overhaul of all the stores to reflect his own aesthetic, Pilati introduced Edition Unisex, an elegant, casual tailored collection of men’s clothing designed for women and Edition 24, a 50-piece line, that helped fulfil the brand’s promise of not only inciting desire, but serving women with a complete wardrobe for modern life. His final collection for the brand was the AW12 show in Paris, delivering quintessential Parisian chic with a chilly dominatrix edge.