Designers have been lifting from the streets since at least the dawn of ready-to-wear shows, 40-some-odd years ago. Way back when, it might’ve taken seasons or years for things to trickle up from reality to the runway. Street-style photography has made the link more instantaneous and direct: See it on Tommy Ton in June, and it’s on the catwalk today. Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi said as much backstage at their Fay show this afternoon. But while their efforts to make Italians “less bon ton” are laudable, Aquilano and Rimondi were way too keenly influenced by Nasir Mazhar’s brand of streetwear. They employed a very similar font to the one the London designer uses for his underwear elastic logo, and otherwise borrowed heavily from his sporty vocabulary—see the similarities between their basketball shorts, hooded anoraks, and backpacks and those in Mazhar’s men’s and women’s collections. There’s definitely a market for streetwear at the high end. Marcelo Burlon, for one, reports that his County of Milan collection is in 450 stores around the world. As an outerwear brand, it makes sense for Fay to get in on that action, but if Aquilano and Rimondi want to join the party, they’ll need to figure out a way to do it on their own terms.

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