Been there, done that. “I don’t do things thinking I need to be the first. I do something because I feel like it… because I feel it’s relevant,” Stefano Pilati said backstage, after unfurling his Random Identities project on Thursday at Pitti Uomo’s Stazione Leopolda venue.
In a relaxed environment and among many friends, Pilati kicked off the show with a club vibe, red lights with a bellowing rendition of Whitney Houston’s hit single “It’s Not Right But It’s Ok” (I am gonna make it anyways).
On the runway, fine sartorial tailoring, cozy knitwear, and luxe uptown, nightclub looks were fashioned for men, women, and gender-fluid individuals, as well as children. Looks were reminiscent of the finery he produced from his past experiences at Saint Laurent and Zegna, yet this time infusing details from his own world, in the form of chains, sequins, futuristic neck pieces, and rugged footwear.
Among the models, Pilati said, 70 percent of them were his friends from Berlin, where he currently resides, and elsewhere. Among them was Brooklyn-based Fatima Jamal, the trans writer and artist behind the film No Fats, No Femmes.
Pilati originally staged his comeback (after his roles at Zegna and at the helm of Saint Laurent) randomly but cleverly on Instagram – with a few pictures of some looks he had been working on. At the time, he dubbed it “Random Identities” but today, he admits he still isn’t sure what that means. “It’s the beginning of my new decade,” he said, chuckling.
“I love social media. It’s really my language,” Pilati added.
Quite deliberately, Pitti organizers showcased like-minded unisex designer, New York-based, Telfar Clemens, who also spoke about the need to create an experience, rather than showcase fashion solely for the purpose of attracting buyers.
The show ended with Pilati himself closing the show, dressed in oversized boots and a wool trench coat. He was unapologetic, nonchalant and confident, as he marched past standing spectators. Random Identities, indeed, is very much about what is happening in Pilati’s life and those around him, right now.
“It’s not a collection in a canonical way. There are no buyers or showrooms. That’s not the case…”
In an earlier interview published on NOWFASHION, Pilati explained that he used social media as a way to impact a younger demographic and has said that he wants the line to be affordable for them (about 60 euros for a tank top and no more than 400 euros for a trench coat).
“Fashion should change, but it depends what you consider fashion. Identities can get sterile, if you don’t evolve with the times.”