Meet the designer: Pierluigi Rolando – 8
During the mid-Seventies the rise of FILA SPORT grew at an exponential rate. The athletes sponsored by the brand kept on winning at the most important tournaments, while behind the shops’ windows all the garments were similar to flags hoisted in honor of a new concept of fashion. As one of the advocates of these events, Pierluigi Rolando witnessed such occurrence with pride and a bit of unbelief: when he saw navy blue and ecru colors in Parisian boutiques, he understood that the revolution had begun, and it wasn’t only about playgrounds anymore.
Rolando was also grateful, especially for the personal relationships he built with the great sport personalities he had the chance to work with. Björn Borg, of course, whose feats kept him glued to the screen. Or Guillermo Vilas, another tennis player, for whom brand new the designer invented brand new geometries: cool but not that tall, the Argentinian champion’s body was enhanced by the FILA polo renowned for the horizontal side lines on the hips, able to shape the silhouette of a man who would be for the books thanks to his uncomparable physical strength.
Not only tennis, however. Perhaps aided by the Californian adventure with Giorgio Bertone in 1974, Pierluigi Rolando felt very close to mountain souls. Walter Bonatti, for example, with whom he shared moments of strong human closeness and personal growth. Carlo Mauri, whose risky attitude – leading him through impervious tracks such as the Silk and the Salt Way – has been remembered for a long time. Lastly, Reinhold Messner (or ‘Superman’, as Rolando nicknamed him in his diaries): after the success of the apparel he inspired, the two finally met in Munich.
The meeting was sealed by a vigorous, long-remembered handshake. And by a metaphor they had been discussing a lot. Climbing a mountain, in the end, is similar to making a sculpture out of a piece of marble, or a trunk: taking the wrong way means to get lost, thus ruining the work in a definitive way. With the difference that, in the case of hiking, you risk to die. On that occasion Rolando also took the chance to have fun with one of his greatest passions: horoscope! As a lover of astrology, the designer couldn’t help predicting the greatest living climbers’ future. Messner left him speechless: on eight different planets, six of them were related to Virgo, rising sign included! An unequivocal star chart – Messner was confirmed as a man of steel, with an unbreakable body. In summary, the revolution is fashion, but an advice from the stars is appreciated.