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Feature: Heritage Brands- FILA

31st March 2015 | Posted in Mens by Ryan Gray

 

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From humble beginnings to international acclaim, Fila have one of the most historic and reputable reputations when it comes to creating sportswear.

With the first Fila store opening in 1911, the label is now over 100 years old- a feat that the two brothers who founded the shop would never have believed from their quaint beginnings in the foothills of the Italian alps.

Originally created to supply local people with some of the finest materials and designs that Italy had to offer, Fila was forged around an obsession for the Italian artistry behind clothing.

In 1923, Fila took the firsts steps on the road to becoming a stand-alone brand of real provenance. The brothers began making their own materials, and became a high quality manufacturing company, crafting luxurious knitwear.

Expansion followed, with the mergence of a few other smaller Italian fashion houses, Fila gained an ever-growing presence both nationally and internationally.

Fila have always been obsessed with beauty, artistry and natural form- something that they’ve learnt from their origins in the alps; and an element that the label was keen to convey through a huge change of direction in the 20th century.

The sports world had exploded on a global scale, and one sport in particular, tennis, had caught the attention of Fila. The flowing movements and grace behind the sport had captivated the brands imagination, and their next design move was clear. Fila would match the grace of the sport with the artistry of their design.

 

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The brand created entirely new fabrics, solely designed to live up to the movements of tennis players and to take the strain of match after match. Fila’s tennis range promoted freedom- its styling complemented the player, it’s quality bettered him.

Of course, this approach made Fila incredibly unique, and resulted in it being worn by some infamous players. Adriano Panatta and Paolo Bertolucci helped to pioneer the brand to international acclaim. However, it was one face in particular that sent the brand into the stratosphere of popularity.

Wearing the F box logo on his chest and in the centre of his now iconic head band, Bjorn Borg rose to stardom on the court, taking Fila along for the ride.

However, it wasn’t just in the tennis world that Fila was making waves. Using their technical experience and knowledge of materials, Fila crafted mountaineering clothing that was fit to take on some of the world’s harshest conditions.

This movement was optimized by Reinhold Messner, who conquered Everest in 1986 wearing Fila branded outerwear.

Descending from the highest point on earth, Fila took to the ski slopes, sponsoring some of the sports fastest skiiers, namely Ingemar Stenmark, who wore Fila when giving chase to 86 titles.

There’s no doubting the history and illustrious design that has gone into everything Fila have done- and it is this exact provenance that still lives on through its celebration of heritage style.

 

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With the F box logo that once adorned the likes of Bjorn Borg now becoming the trademark of the labels heritage style line, it is with the likes of Fila polo shirts and bucket hats that the label is beginning to dominate the streets.

From sporting backgrounds to an urban scene, the movement over to casual style was a natural movement for Fila- something that is hugely evident in the versatility of their old school quality aspirations.

 

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