The fashion industry has lost three creative heads and we’re only halfway through the week. Brioni kicked things off on 1st February by announcing that it will no longer be working with creative director Brendan Mullane, followed by Berluti with Alessandro Sartori just hours later. Then on 3rd February, Ermenegildo Zegna officially sent word of Stefano Pilati’s departure.
British-born Brendan Mullane has been working with Brioni since mid-2012. As Creative Director for the Kering-owned brand, Mullane took creative charge of the entire Brioni product portfolio. Both parties announced that they came to “a joint decision” to not continue with their working relationship.
Similarly at Berluti, Alessandro Sartori’s work with the Parisian shoemaker came to a mutual end. Under Sartori’s role of Artistic Director, Berluti introduced a complete read-to-wear collection in November 2011 and has continued to do so season after season.
Amid the two departures, rumours of Stefano Pilati being next was laid to rest when the Ermenegildo Zegna Group announced that Pilati is “to step down” as Head of Design for Ermenegildo Zegna Couture. While it is not clear of what is next for the designer, in a press statement released yesterday, he expressed his “wish to focus on other projects that I had put aside”.
There has been no indication of why the sudden change for all three European brands but sales performance does not seem to be a factor. Berluti has reported increased revenues since Alessandro Sartori’s tenure and both Brioni and Zegna have expanded their range to reach a wider and younger audience.
All three brands have yet to announce respective successors with fall/winter 2016 being the last collections for the three designers. Brioni revealed that the upcoming spring/summer 2017 collection will be created by an internal design team. But with such strong fashion tailoring experience across all three of them, it might not be too farfetched to think that any one of them could take the other’s place. Other possible moves would be Lanvin and Dior as both brands have yet to find replacements for Raf Simons and Alber Elbaz.
Would Hedi Slimane make four, this week? Especially after moving the men’s fall/winter 2016 fashion show to Los Angeles instead of the usual rock concert-like production in Paris, rumours are abound that the designer is to leave Saint Laurent. Could next week’s homage to Hedi Slimane’s love for music and rock and roll be his swansong at Saint Laurent? Fashion lovers will have to wait till then to find out for certain.