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Random Identities SSENSE Stefano Pilati Matt Lambert

A group of Berlin friends talk identity in this new film

As directed by Matt Lambert for Stefano Pilati’s new label Random Identities

Last month, Stefano Pilati heralded the launch of his new label at SSENSE’s Montreal HQ. Entitled Random Identities, “Random stands for the randomness of existence, and Identities stands as a response to that randomness,” he explained in an interview with the luxury retailer.

Drawing inspiration from the deconstructionism and stripped-back style of the mid-90s, and nodding in the direction of the likes of Helmut Lang, Maison Margiela, and, more recently, Hood By Air, the designer’s first collection was made up of simple, utilitarian separates, elevated basics, and a really, really good selection of outerwear. Much like Martin, Pilati is intent on letting the clothing speak for itself – eschewing OTT branding and even labels in favour of the blackened panels which finish each piece.

Now, the designer joins forces with visionary director Matt Lambert, to present a new short film which further expands on the brand’s ethos. Having previously worked with the likes of Mykki Blanco, Christeene, and Anna Calvi, Lambert captures a bunch of he and Pilati’s mutual friends, as they discuss identity and the dynamics of their relationships with those around them. “What are you?” one asks another. “What am I not?” they reply.  

Pilati and Lambert have been friends for some time, and previously worked on the launch of the label last month. “We share a sphere of affection,” explains Pilati. “It was only a matter of time before we extended our friendship and collaborated on a project. The concept behind the film is very connected to the brand philosophy, my ethics, and my aesthetic.”

Capturing people they actually knew was important to both Pilati and Lambert, too. “Most of the people in the film are our good friends from Berlin – I’ve shot with some of them for years,” says Lambert. “An honest reflection of the people close to us was one of the most important elements for me, alongside portraying the intimate connection between myself and them. The nuances of these moments just wouldn’t be be the same had we cast traditional models we’d just met.”