Do as the Romans do, as the saying goes. But what do the Romans do, exactly?

If you ask Stefano Pilati, Milanese designer and FENDI’s latest collaborator in the ‘Friends of FENDI’ series created by Kim Jones, Fendi’s creative director of womenswear, and Silvia Venturini Fendi, the answer is “more.” Drawing from the increasingly blurring gender lines of our time, Pilati explains that this collection contains, “A sense of flux and transition in the silhouettes themselves. Things are undefined and unfinished.” Wanting to stay true to the FENDI legacy as well as his own oeuvre, this unexpected collaborator started with his strongest suit (so to speak), tailoring. The result is sleek—all in the details and attitude—it has us, for one, begging for what the Romans do best: more.

All clothing FENDI

“Stefano is one of the designers I admire the most,” explains Jones in a statement. “I was always in love with his work and he is somebody I look up to – he has been an inspiration for what I do. Stefano epitomizes Friends of FENDI: He is a friend, an inspiration, and a designer for modern times, always looking to the future, asking questions, and proffering solutions.”

Below, V caught up with Pilati to discover more about the collection being a departure from his work, the differences between Milan and Rome, and what it means to be a Friend of FENDI.

V Magazine: How is this collection a departure from your work in the past? How is it similar?

Stefano Pilati: I thought about how my style could fit into FENDI and yet I needed to stay true to myself. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to start with tailoring – it is one of my strongest skills. In the silhouette, particularly in terms of the tailoring, the jackets are softer. Soft jackets and cabana lengths with voluminous coats.

V: You lightly touched upon the differences between Milan and Rome, what other differences are there in your opinion?             

SP: I am from Milan, but I came here, to Rome, and I realized I am from here! Everything here speaks to me. Milan versus Rome: there is a freedom in the Roman style that Milan does not have. It is a sunnier city where everything is more – more feminine, more masculine as well as bohemian and eccentric.

V: This collection is, in part, inspired by the increasingly blurring gender lines in fashion. What are some examples of this inspiration within the collection?

All clothing FENDI

SP: I was thinking about the 1920s and the parallels with today, particularly the flapper. I wanted to find that connection in the collection. It’s a celebration of who somebody is – a celebration of that freedom. Even when people try and disguise who they are, something comes through, a gesture, a way of walking, how something is worn. It is the light of who somebody really is.

V: What do you think a “classic” wardrobe is going to look like in 10 years? Will the classics always be classics, or do you think we will continue to see them reinvented as you have with this collection? 

SP: As a designer, I have a passion for finding and discovering what is new. You invest in your role and you are supposed to give something that people don’t know. In this collection, there is a sense of flux and transition in the silhouettes themselves. Things are undefined and unfinished. It is a question of defining things now, of being open, open to new ways of defining is important both for the clothes and the attitude.             

V: To you, what does it mean to be a “Friend of Fendi”? 

SP: This is a coming together of two worlds and I am so touched by the opportunity that Kim, Silvia, and FENDI have given me to be so much myself while exploring theirs, the world of FENDI. 

This story appears in the pages of V145: hitting global newsstands beginning November 10

Photography Bryce Anderson

Fashion Xander Ang

Makeup Mariel Barrera

Hair Ward Stegerhoek (Home Agency)

Models Cristina Jugo (The Lions), Michael Piotrovsky (NEXT)

Manicure Rita Remark (Bryan Bantry)

On-set producer Mara Weinstein

Digital technician Reece Nelson

Lighting director William Takahashi

Photo assistant Ryan Carter

Stylist assistants Marli Giedt, Natalie Cohen

Makeup assistant Jenn Green

Hair assistant Brian Casey

Location Shio Studio

Discover More