Articles on Fila
Sportswear has taken over the fashion world like never before—today, we see it in fields and arena, we see it on the streets, and we see it on the runway. Together with such amazing evolution, leading sportswear brands have come to transform with it as well, adopting new techniques, introducing innovative technologies, and introducing new designs, all while retaining the core essence of what a sports brand really is. Among the top brands that have successfully incorporated their time-honored traditions with the current trends is none other than Fila.
Brand’s birth and evolution through the years
At the small town of Biella in 1911, the Fila brothers started their brand by making quality clothes for the local residents of the Italian Alps. From the beginning, the company’s goal is to provide the best fabrics that shows utmost luxury, reflecting the beautiful Italian landscape. Art and utility are two elements they add to their pieces as well, combined with the excellence, dedication and innovation by the brand’s craftsmen.
With such exceptional performance, Fila was soon on its way to building a brighter future. By 1970s, it has started shifting from mainly producing underwear pieces to sportswear, even partnering with a famous athlete endorser, Björn Borg. The tennis player was the first ever endorsement of the brand, which was a definite success with Borg winning a total of 11 titles while proudly wearing apparel made by the brand and stamped with its logo.
From then on, Fila continuously evolved and transformed into an international acclaimed brand, which can be attributed to the brand’s “philosophy of innovation.” From the time it was all about knitwear production in the 1920s, the brand already has agreed to be part of a limited partnership, the Maglficio Biellese, which succeeded in going beyond the Fila brothers’ hometown to other parts of Italy.
Holding di Partecipazioni originally owned Fila, but after an incident of over-commitment to various high-priced endorsements with athletes, it had to sell the brand to US hedge fund Cerberus Capital Management on the first quarter of 2000s. Under Cerberus, Fila was managed by Sports Brands International, taking care of all its global operations, except Fila Korea. Later on in 2007, Fila saw a huge shift in the brand’s management, with all of the brand’s subsidiaries along with the global operations acquired by Fila Korea. Now, Fila Korea is known to be the largest sportswear company in the country, with it in charge of all the clothing brands and footwear lines under Fila.
Defining moments of success
Fila’s success coincided with the emergence of sports as one of the best form of self-expression, including the apparel that’s part of the athletic package. With this, style and impact of sportswear have been most talked about, prompting the brand to ensure its launching success in to the sportswear industry. Two men became the key people that led to the brands success—Pier Luigi Rolando, its main designer and Alessandro Galliano, the engineering director, who both captured the right balance of elements to incorporate in sportswear.
They have understood how sports included a lot of motion in it, hence, the need for outfit and gear that aren’t overpowering the athletes, but complementing them and their strengths. By 1972, such outstanding work of the two artistic geniuses produced the premier outerwear collection of the brand, showcasing vigor and grace that eventually because the signature style of the brand.
Just a year after that breakthrough collection, Fila was once again the talk of the town after the release of the iconic “White Line” Collection, which immediately rose up the sportswear ranks. It was a fresh perspective that steered away from traditional pieces, adding a hint of provocative vibe in the pieces. It led to the start of another era in the sportswear fashion—catering to both sportsmen and mere cosmo people. With such step, the brand became even more conscious to changes in trends and the new innovation in the market. By doing so, it’s able to gauge what details can properly match both group of consumers, without compromising the audacity and timelessness of the brand’s designs.
Another great move for Fila was when it collaborated with the Global Leading Brands House (GLBH) in 2007, prompting it to establish a headquarters at the heart of a well-loved fashion capital: Milan. GLBH is a company known to groom and nurture companies in terms of producing high-end fashion pieces.
Fila has been a part of countless successful partnerships and collaborations with A-list people in the world of sports and fashion. One of which is Kim Clijsters, winner of US Open 2005, who beat Mary Pierce while wearing tennis shoes from the brand. Another significant collaboration is with another brand, Pink Dolphin clothing, which immediately ran out of stock upon release in black & white colorways.
Working together with athletes weren’t also just a temporary and one-time thing for the brand, as it maintained great relationship with its athlete endorsers, just like tennis players Bjorn Borg, Paolo Bertolucci and Adriano Panatta. Reinhold Messner, a hiker who climbed Everest in 1986 also wore Fila-designed gears with high-tech features and design, and even went on to climb the Himalayas. For a total of 86 World Cup titles, Ingemar Stenmark, has been with Fila and never changed his brand ever; while Svetlana Kuznetsoza won the French open while in partnership with the brand.
For other efforts to improve its sportswear line, Fila has been very active in the different fashion circles as well, to get a good pulse on the brand’s status as it release some sort of more high-end fashionable pieces. But Fila never falters, especially with its Italian roots that are laden with a respectable level of artisanship, and operations managed by the organized and systematic Korean group. Fila still continuously gives its maximum performance, in every fresh endeavor it wants. It has been around for many years and with the strong foundation and great reputation of the brand, we just know it will remain to be a respected sportswear brand for a long, long time.