Rossignol Apparel continues to pursue its aim to grow globally in the lifestyle and urban apparel segments with its Sport-Chic and Studio lines parallel to its sport-driven core Performance collection. Collaborating for the first time with Rossignol is Italian designer Andrea Pompilio who created a function-meets-style capsule collection within the brand’s Studio line.
Besides managing his own brand, Pompilio is currently also artistic director of Onitsuka Tiger and has furthermore collaborated with prestigious fashion brands including Prada, Calvin Klein and Saint Laurent. The designers strongly believes in the importance of mixing inspiration from different worlds like, for instance, streetwear, technical sport and luxury. His first collaboration collection for Rossignol debuting for fall/winter 2018-19 is a proof for that.
Why did you accept this task? What did you like–or dislike–most about this challenge and this brand?
I accepted to work at this project with great energy as its aim was to conjugate typical sporty aspects of the brand with men’s and women’s urban approach. What I appreciate most of this brand is the ability to study and perfect technical and performing characteristics of materials which I decoded according to a more urban appeal for its Studio collection.
How did you manage to maintain this brand’s DNA?
I kept the technical characteristics and details of ski apparel and added them onto my urban pieces. The French flag colors (highly identifying for the brand), for instance, appear in garments as special additions such as thermo-bonded macro-labels applied inside each garment.
What did you add to increase the Studio collection’s urban character?
My key idea was to overlap garments as layers. I decided to transform Rossignol’s technical side–born for mountain sports and ski–into a performing and practical wardrobe for the city. Buyers can decide what combinations they can create between inner and outer garments as part of their outfits, according to their own market’s taste.
You used special or exclusive fabrics and materials for the collection. What are their main characteristics and performances?
The whole collection is rich with details and custom-made elements–all inspired by the brand’s history like, for instance, hooks, eyelets, technical pockets and coatings. All of the fabrics were purposely produced for me and added with waterproof and wind-stop membranes and functions, while most details are thermo-sealed.
Did you also include sustainable materials or treatments? And do you think these environmentally friendly criteria are simply the hype of a moment or will they last?
I have been focused on this aspect for years. Caring for the environment is a must for me. I think that fashion has to be focused on searching for new less impactful productive techniques and materials. The path will be long though it is important lending time for creative and productive phases that can produce better products. Marketing trends are not important nor do they involve me. What is indispensable for a designer is to keep one’s own independence in thinking and creating.
What is the piece or outfit do you like best out of the entire Studio collection?
I mostly like functional outerwear that can be worn for urban everyday by both men and women.
What characterizes fashion today?
Aesthetic freedom–as clearly visible every day on the streets of cities all over the world.
How will it evolve in the future?
We are now living a historic passage toward a new kind of fashion that will speak of different values than simply the aesthetic ones that mostly characterize it and involve us today. In the future, more and more important will be how a creative designer will propose his point of view on fashion keeping together the human needs, such as specific lifestyles and the evolution of productive techniques, fabrics and yarns.
There is much talk about athleisure and about an overall sportswear-minded influence in fashion–especially men’s fashion. What is your opinion about it?
This has been part of my DNA for years. I think that a double osmotic process is happening: on the one side fashion collections are becoming more sportswear-minded and on the other sports apparel is gradually becoming more casual.
Practically a double evolution has happened and involved aesthetic aspects and technical performance. The fashion wave is already combining the original heritage style of menswear with a sportier and more technological view. Also this collaboration with Rossignol proves that different worlds can be connected and live side by side.
The Rossignol apparel brand is now sold mostly in Europe to over 1,000 doors, 350 of whom sell the urban apparel part only. The Rossignol Apparel division, lead by CEO Alessandro Locatelli, will close its fiscal balance in March 2018 registering €30 million, which is expected to increase 25% by end 2019.