Meet the designer: Pierluigi Rolando – 5
As many other Italian workers of the post-economic Boom period, manager Enrico Frachey loved sports and practiced many of them: his favorite ones were hiking and rock climbing. After the success of WHITE LINE and after having been impressed by Wimbledon’s sensation, in 1974 he decided that a collection for mountain lovers could be a new challenge for the brand.
Thus Pierluigi Rolando started working on the winter line, with his own, special technical skills. The very first step for him was to develop a warm, soft, gauzed wool, which was also able to absorb air. It’s the beginning of Roc Neige, the historical line that would later be named WHITE ROCK. Rolando’s experimentations became riskier, mountain is a challenge asking for gamble. So wool fibres started to become longer and thicker, with strong abilities in dealing with external humidity. Colors were pure and brilliant, as a natural response to the rarefaction of air at high altitudes.
Pierluigi Rolando has never denied his struggle in getting into such adventure. Despite of this, he was able to create a cutting-edge cloth: the Tela Vela jacket. Inspired by a tank driver coat he bought at a French vintage shop and sewed with tha same fabric commonly used to fabricate ship’s sailcloths. Rolando shaped an extremely versatile piece, able to ease the body gesture without compromising the aesthetic research that FILA was beginning to bring to the attention of the entire world.
If there’s an adjective Mr Rolando appreciates, that word is ‘proud’. Aware of the contribution he was giving to the Biellese factory, actually he was incredibly proud and satisfied. Especially in 1985, when in Las Vegas he discovered that Patagonia, a Californian sportswear brand, developed a synthetic wool explicitly inspired by the WHITE ROCK research. On that day, in the US, Rolando found himself really proud.