Meet the designer: Pierluigi Rolando – 4
After witnessing the success of the first sponsorships, in 1974 Pierluigi Rolando radically changed the face of tennis. Actually, he changed its look.
‘Outfit’ is a word we daily use, maybe even abuse sometime: a striking contribution to its definition (at least in sportswear) came right from FILA and White Line, the collection that redefined tennis players’ appeal from head to toes. Rolando imagined that sporty apparel had to go along with a new official ‘uniform’ that was jumpsuit – in the vision of the designer, a real bridge between activewear and office clothing.
Constraint and freedom, work and spare time: the contrast between opposites led to a brand new cloth, that was comfortable, fashionable and similar to the ones sponsored by champions. Rolando took inspiration for the very first tracksuits from two exceptional muses: the English Royal Guard (with a close look to their chevrons) and penguins, that seemed to wear tailcoats in his eyes. Looking at the way black and white colors shaped the anatomies of such animals, Rolando conceived a new model of activewear, characterized by details and references that turned it into something new, innovative. Somehow it was a reaction to the clothes he wore when was young and practiced athletics in Turin, showing off an undefined blue suit for machinists, with no decorative elements.
Thanks to his experience at the University of Leeds, UK, the fashion designer was also able to curate choices in terms of fabrics, favoring the so-called warp knits, that were hand-woven with needles guaranteeing both weave stability and performing elasticity. In order to convince manager Enrico Frachey about the the product’s goodness, Rolando created a sample specifically for the ‘Doctor’, who didn’t only find it comfortable, but also winning.