TAKING THEIR TIME: Handbags can wait. Shoes too. The designers of Aquilano.Rimondi are focused strictly on nurturing their collection and brand. “Contrary to the evolution of many companies in the world, it is more important for us to develop season by season and to create this fidelity with the customer,” said Tommaso Aquilano Wednesday during a visit with his partner, Roberto Rimondi, to Neiman Marcus’ downtown Dallas store and headquarters. Which is not to say they will never pursue accessories, but it’s a year or two away.

The designers have the luxury to make their own schedule — they own 100 percent of their company, and every time they do a collaboration, like their creative direction of Diego Della Valle’s Fay brand, they plough money back into their own label, Aquilano noted.

The designers were feted with a luncheon hosted by Ashley Hunt, just the sort of opportunity they crave to learn about the women who buy their clothes. “The customer here is just a little bit relaxed compared with Milan.…They create new combinations. Here, the customer is looking at the shirt not only in an elegant way but why not mix it with jeans? In Milan, no,” said Aquilano.