Quotable: Stefano Pilati shares what’s been on his mind since leaving YSL

Everyone wants to know what’s been on Stefano Pilati’s mind since his much-discussed departure from Yves Saint Laurent. The designer, famed for expanding YSL’s now lucrative accessories collection, told the French Institute Alliance Française all about his (somewhat bumpy) time at the house and his relationship with Tom Ford:

“Let’s not go there. Challenging is not the right word. It was traumatic! It was tragical. No, no, it was great, of course, it was great. You know what, Tom has such a self-confidence that you can really absorb it — he has enough for everyone around him, and I definitely got it. I was like, yeah, give it to me! I question every single moment of my life — about myself, what I do, what I say, what I didn’t say, if my idea is good or not good, you know. So imagine, somebody who actually brings me there and gives me a lot of responsibility. It was an amazing relationship.”

So what was it like working under the legendary Yves Saint Laurent? Well, according to Pilati he liked it better when he was gone!:

“Oh yeah, I forgot about him! … It was pretty complicated, I have to say … In 2008, when he passed away, a lot of people started to ask me, ‘Do you feel that something has changed or is gonna change now that he’s not alive anymore?’ And firstly I said no, you know I’ve always tried to do my best, but in fact, it [had] changed. I could really feel it. The fact that his physical presence wasn’t there anymore, in a way, gave me a sense of freedom.”