Stefano Pilati has left YVES SAINT LAURENT.

The designer - who joined YSL as design director in 2000 after stints at Giorgio Armani, Prada and Miu Miu, and took over from the then-creative director Tom Ford in 2004 - has decided to part ways with the French fashion house although he has not announced where he is going.

In a statement, YSL said: ''He has been instrumental in the rebuilding and repositioning of an iconic French luxury brand. Under Stefano's guiding vision and artistic direction, the house has become a contemporary reference in high fashion.''

Pilati will present his final YSL collection on March 5 at Paris Fashion Week and the brand will announce a new creative director - rumoured to be Hedi Slimane - ''within weeks''.

PPR chairman and ceo François-Henri Pinault said: ''I join Paul Deneve and the house of Saint Laurent in thanking Stefano for his dedication and contribution to the story of Yves Saint Laurent. I personally wish him all the best.''