During our visit to Pitti Uomo, we had the chance to meet and speak with Roberto Bardini, CEO of RRD, the Italian surf, swimwear and sportswear brand. We were in the magnificent space of Sala delle Colonne, talking about collaborations, innovation and that marine alchemy responsible for the brand’s momentum and business growth. And we also brought home a majestic special edition of Moby Dick, summarized in the amazing drawings by Roberto Abbiati.

Brand Jam: RRD is launching a collaboration with Liberty?

Roberto Bardini: Yes, but it is not your standard collaboration. We consider ourselves good at developing traditional products in a technologically advanced way: the shirt according to RRD is always a shirt, from a functional point of view. But with our fabrics it becomes light, breathable, antibacterial, super elastic and does not need ironing. So instead of acquiring a license to print a design, Liberty actually prints our fabrics, contrarily to its core business. We have reversed the process from licensing to a dedicated manufacturing.

B.J .: Tradition and innovation: is that why you have chosen Liberty?

R.B .: Yes, because we believe that the aesthetic of Liberty’s and its long tradition fits perfectly with the high technology featuring our ranges: it is like reiterating that we manufacture traditional garments, but in our own contemporary way. Like we do with the Techno Indaco project.

B.J .: The one about ultra-light and hi-tech denim?

R.B .: Just that. We work closely with Carvico on the Techno Indaco project, our technical fabric is dyed exactly as the denim cotton. The result is aesthetically identical to the best denim, with the same effects after washing and use, but with unparalleled lightness, elasticity and breathability. And, just like our beachwear, it dries in no time.

B.J .: It’s all about high technology applied to fabrics and processes, with the sea in mind.

R.B .: We were born with this DNA, which obviously distinguishes us and moves us in a specific direction. For this edition of Pitti Uomo, we have collaborated with Roberto Abbiati, a versatile artist in love with Moby Dick who created this whale, at the entrance of our stand. We also printed a limited edition based on one of his unique works: Abbiati is well known for his 15-minute theatrical piece for a maximum of 15 people, and for us he distilled the most dense work of contemporary literature in one single drawing for each chapter. A moving work.

B.J. We agree. More collaborations in the future?

R.B: We wish to grow our brand organically, and collaborations can be useful as long as they are deeply rooted in our brand strategy. We are working with companies in the design market, such as Edra and Terzani Luce, for the moment in our showroom spaces and in this stand. I strongly believe in holistic collaborations.