Angela Picozzi (commercial director), Tommaso Aquilano (6267 designer) and Margherita Guarind (sales manager) at the Neiman Marcus Union Square Rotunda.
A silk-floral ombre dress and white military jacket by 6267.
Tommaso Aquilano—one half of the design duo behind the Italian womenswear label 6267—was in town yesterday for his first San Francisco appearance at Neiman Marcus Union Square. Over a leisurely espresso at the Rotunda, a much better alternative to my harried morning routines of chugging coffee while commuting, I had the pleasure of chatting with the understated designer and his sales team before he met with VIP customers unveiling pieces from 6267’s spring 2008 and pre-fall collections. (Unfortunately, his business partner Roberto Rimondi had to cancel his overseas trip due to appendicitis).
While 6267 has gained considerable buzz among industry insiders since their launch in 2005, they have yet to make a splash in the mainstream. But that’s likely to change soon for the designers who met while working at Max Mara. As winners of Vogue Italia’s Who Is On Next Award for their 2006 spring/summer collection, Rimondi and Aquilano have been called by the fashion press Italy’s next big things for their innovative, couture-quality collections, which are making their way to major international luxury retailers. Here’s a snapshot of our interview, translated from Italian through his press manager Angela Picozzi. (Look for more on 6267 in our January issue’s SideDish section).
Tell me about how you came to launch 6267 with Roberto after meeting at Max Mara?
Tommaso Aquilano: [The business] was born in 2005. We felt we had a great experience already because I was in haute couture for a lot of years and after that I went to Max Mara. Roberto was more technical. After we worked there, we felt we could start our own collection. The problem now is when a new designer starts a collection, they don’t have the knowledge of doing it. Max Mara is a very good school. It’s commercial. They know exactly what a woman will wear. That’s their strength. It’s good to have the creativity and the style, but a lot of designers need to know who is that woman who will wear them.
You could have picked any name for your label. I’ve read 6267 was Roberto’s summer camp ID number as a kid. Why did you choose that number?
TA: The number is important to our past. We liked the idea that it’s a number and you can call it in any language. In Japanese. In Italian. In any language. We liked the idea because also you can feel it. The position of the label is important. We always put it here [pointing to the hip], and not on the back. It’s a number that you have to remember; it’s like a phone number. The woman who wears the piece has to remember. It becomes her number. Her code. Like the pin code of the bank. Everybody in the beginning thought it was our ages, 62 and 67. But we are much younger than that. It has nothing to do with our dates of birth!
What is your reaction to hearing from the press that you are being considered Italy’s breakout stars among the establishment of the Italian fashion market?
TA: It’s an honor for us to be labeled like that. But of course it’s scary. Everyone is looking at you. Because in Italy it’s difficult to get in. There are lots of labels that are very well established. I hope this is a way for other new designers to start. To open a new pass for them. Something is changing now.
A few of the other pieces from 6267’s spring 2008 collection, inspired by mid-century couture and Japanese samurai, shown at Neiman Marcus. Courtesy of Style.com
6267 in SF