Fila: The Story Behind The Brand

Fashion / February 5, 2015
by admin

I bet if you’d asked the Fila brothers when they opened their first factory in 1911 if they thought their little company would one day be one of the most influential sports brands in the world, they would have told you to cut down on the espressos. That is where Fila find themselves in 2014 though, a truly global sportswear and street style king. So how did all of this come about?

In the early days the Fila brothers concentrated primarily on underwear and knitwear. Their aim was to provide top class textiles for the people of Biella, a town set in the hills of Northern Italy. The quality of Fila’s garments were soon recognised leading to Fila becoming popular throughout Italy. Post WW2 Fila continued to grow, in part thanks to a merger in 1942 with Fratelli Fila. Enrico Frachey’s appointment as managing director in 1968 however proved to be the catalyst for Fila’s transition to become a sportswear giant. Frachey enlisted the help of two men to help realise his vision, Pier Luigi Rolando, an innovative artist and designer and an engineer, Alessandro Galliano.

By 1973 Fila’s name was firmly established in the sportswear industry thanks to its “White Line” Collection. The collections name was gently poking fun at tennis’ seeming refusal to deviate from the traditional white kit. The collection’s respectful irreverence propelled Fila onto the world stage, marrying bold colours with forward thinking design. Fila’s unconventional approach updated sportswear in the 1970’s, ushering in a new paradigm in sportswear, challenging the existing norms.

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Fila’s new exciting sportswear appealed to both the fashion conscious individual and athletes at the top of their game. Arguably most famous is eleven times grand slam winner, Sweden’s Bjorn Borg. Not only was Borg a class act on the court but he really looked the part. Borg would enter the court sporting a colourful Fila jacket over the top of a now iconic Fila polo, his luxurious locks tied back under a Fila headband- Borg really was the epitome of sporting cool.

Borg’s standing helped to push Fila’s wares into a whole host of sports, from skiing to golf, and from football to mountaineering. Over the years Fila has been recognised as a bastion of cosmopolitan European design, striking the balance perfectly between practicality and playful style ensuring its longevity amongst different sections of society.
Recent films such as The Business and the remake of The Firm had more than their fair share of Fila in, helping to bring Fila to an entirely new audience. In the films characters are seen decked out in the classic BJ track jacket and Fila knits and polo’s- the designs have changed very little to this day.

Over a hundred years on from its humble rural beginnings Fila continues to be relevant. Generations apart recognise the level of design, its use of colour and its elegance as a brand, ensuring that Fila will continue to hold a firm and lasting place in casual menswear.

Shop the full Fila range at Scotts now.

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