Replacing an iconic designer is an opportunity fraught with peril; when Italian Stefano Pilati stepped in as the head of Yves Saint Laurent, he was following not only Saint Laurent himself, but Tom Ford, who designed the label for 5 years. Not surprisingly,
Pilati's first collections were pilloried. But three years in, he's reinterpreting the master and influencing the market with authority of his own, says the Daily Telegraph.
Despite his recent success, Pilati still considers Yves Saint Laurent to be "the most difficult place in the industry." The founder still lives next door to the company's Paris offices, which might explain why Pilati's collection hasn't diverged very much from the classic YSL look. "I need to show respect for the house, respect for the heritage," Pilati says.