Meet the designer: Pierluigi Rolando – 2
If there’s e recurring word in Pierluigi Rolando’s memoir, that word ‘successful’. It’s something he ofter writes, as a sort of mantra. It was an obsession, for sure: the ambition of a self-made man that, after the first recognitions for his work, wants to demonstrate he can improve and give more.
After the success of the Jacquard Collection in 1992, Rolando reinforces his position at FILA with his Mistral line, that evokes flowers, stones, grass and other typical elements of Biella’s luxuriant nature. But most of all, he begins to work hard for the revolution that would have made his company worldwide famous: White Line.
Post-economic boom Italy is characterized by new money possibilities, used – for example – for sporty activities. Enrico Frachey – who, as we’re going to learn, loved to climb in his free time – knows it well, just like Rolando himself, who plays tennis both in his childhood and during his stay in Leeds, UK. Tennis is right the most mentioned discipline during meetings: in 1973, the final decision is taken.
White Line (whose name is inspired by the signs marking the courtyards) is a consequence of the sensation that events such as Wimbledon were able to cause in the audience. Rolando notices that most TV screens are are still black-and-white, penalizing athletes wearking total white looks: his revolutionary choice is to design matching outfits, in which dark and light alternate as positive and negative. In this period the peculiar navy blue and red FILA colors are selected, in dialogue with a pastel palette: écru, beige, green, light blue.
Since FILA also pays major attention to the spirit of the times (and to the importance of equal rights for all genders), a precise range of tones – purple, yellow, fuchsia, pink) is chosen especially for female players. The conquer of tennis courtyards is behind the corner.