'Franca: Chaos and Creation' film premiere at the 2016 Venice Film Festival

CLEAN SLATE: Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi presented on Thursday their latest fashion collection under the shi.RT moniker. To be sure, the apparel line, whose name includes the designers’ initials, hinges on beautiful cotton shirts — either all-white, pleated and draped, or in patchwork combinations of animal patterns, prints and stripes — at times with sequined pockets. There are also a number of feminine pleated circle skirts and dresses with “bleach effect” patterns.

The designers have been quietly working on shir.RT for two seasons, launching their first collection for spring 2019. “It’s something that is different for us, that we never did before,” Aquilano explained.

That said, shirts were also central in their work as former creative directors of Gianfranco Ferré in the 2008-11 period, until the brand was sold to Paris Group.

“We are having fun, I enjoy cutting and sewing everything and Tommaso enjoys designing,” said Rimondi, underscoring that the pieces are all made by Italian laboratories. “It’s important to us to bring work to these Italian artisans,” he added.

The designers are also aiming at positioning the line at a retail price range that spans from around 230 to 320 euros. “This project is within our creative world, but it has more interesting prices and a different connotation. We are not interested in rushing and following the typical fashion dates or show calendar,” observed Rimondi. “We are going slowly, one step at a time,” chimed in Aquilano.

Aquilano said the first two seasons were meant as a “break-in also to understand if we can attract a foreign customer.”

The duo, who launched their own collections 6267 and Aquilano.Rimondi, have also worked for Fay, joining in 2011 and exiting the Italian brand under the Tod’s Group umbrella with the spring 2018 pre-collection, as well as for Max Mara and Malo.