In recent years, with the retro resurgence of sports style, many brands have made changes to sports style and street style, and sports brands are also evolving to fashion. The first to break the boundaries between haute couture and sportswear was FILA. Born in 1911 and now 110 years old, FILA recently appeared at Milan Fashion Week to kick off the legendary brand’s 110th anniversary.

FILA 110th anniversary logo

FILA’s 110th Anniversary Legend Forward Series – Tennis

FILA’s 110th Anniversary Legend Forward Series – Golf

FILA’s 110th Anniversary Legend Forward Series – Skiing

Looking at other century-old brands, only luxury and high-end watch brands have such a century-old heritage, while sports brands only have FILA. How did 110-year-old FILA make this legend? Why can FILA maintain the vitality and enthusiasm of the brand for a century, and continue to bring new changes and innovations to the consumer market?

A century-old brand history originating from Italy

AT THE FOOT OF THE ALPS, THERE IS A SMALL TOWN CALLED BIELLA, WHICH HAS BECOME THE BASE OF THE ITALIAN FABRIC AND TEXTILE INDUSTRY THANKS TO THE SNOWMELT OF THE MOUNTAINS THAT WASHES BRIGHT AND SOFT FABRIC FIBERS. In 1911, FILA, a century-old sports fashion brand, was born in this town with natural textile advantages. The FILA brothers founded the family-owned textile company and are committed to creating high-quality fabrics that combine artistry and practicality, as delicate and textured as an Italian landscape.

FILA early historical photographs

The romance of the Mediterranean gives Italians an innate seafaring pedigree and a spirit of exploration. In 1923, the FILA brothers wanted to make the company bigger, so they expanded the production base and reorganized it into a joint stock limited company, and the products they produced were very popular. By the 1970s, Italian society was gradually changing, and people began to pay attention to sports and leisure activities. Therefore, FILA began to try to diversify and turn to sportswear.

Different from other sports brands, FILA is very professional, the earliest products are mainly tennis and golf equipment, in order to meet the needs of the public, and then opened basketball, fitness, skiing, mountaineering, yoga and other product lines.

FILA’s continuous development, derived from the Italian pursuit of goods and the pursuit of beauty, in 1972 FILA launched the White Line tennis wear series, the first to bring colorful colors into the tennis court, because of its functional design and breakthrough of traditional color use, the series in the aesthetic design to bring surprises to the public, and caused a sensation among athletes and fans, realizing the fashion change of tennis sportswear. The brand, born with Italian elegance and luxury, quickly became a global sportswear brand.

In 1973, FILA invited Japanese designer Ishin to design the current red and blue F-box logo, red and blue colors represent the Mediterranean sun and sea, has been used to this day, has become the logo of FILA.

Japanese designer Ishin and the FILA F-BOX LOGO

A legend of a century-old elegant movement

A six-time French Open, five-time Wimbledon champion, 63 trophies, and five consecutive ATP Player of the Year from 1976-80, Björn Borg was a tennis legend in the 70s, and as his popularity soared, FILA first became internationally famous in the 70s. Wearing FILA’s signature colorful striped clothing and headband, FILA and Borg broke the tradition of single white clothing on tennis courts, introduced multiple colors and fashion elements, and opened the fashion beauty of tennis, FILA is the first brand to bring color to tennis courts through the White Line collection.

Tennis legend Björ Borg in FILA’s revolutionary tennis suit

FILA has sponsored the U.S. Open since 1982 and became the Official Provider of the US Open for the next 22 years. Tennis has brought FILA unparalleled glory, but in line with the strategy of “diversification” development, FILA has left classic product shapes across many sports fields, such as golf, mountaineering, skiing, racing, football, basketball, marathons, etc., and has become a star in the sportswear industry. As the sponsoring and partnering celebrities have won the championship again and again, FILA has also received great attention. These include tennis player Björn Borg, once known as Sweden’s king, Reinhold Messner, the first anaerobic climb to Mount Everest, and NBA star Grant Hill. These legendary FILA-clad heroes are the pinnacle of their sporting world, and they are also witnessing FILA’s 100-year commitment to advancing professional sport.

The first anaerobic mountaineer to climb Mount Everest, Reinhold Messner

NBA star Grant Hill

FILA has always been out of the box and blended into the trends of different periods. With the rise of sports fashion around the world, FILA, a popular brand in the 90s, has become a direct beneficiary. The retro trend is all the rage, and the soul of the Italian brand remains.

When global fashion icons began to wear red, white and blue logos, it was difficult for young people who were deeply influenced by entertainment culture not to be curious about the brand.

Four appearances at Milan Fashion Week

In addition, FILA has continued to cooperate with various brands, and has appeared on the main agenda of Milan Fashion Week several times, expanding its influence and scope in the sports and fashion circles.

It must be mentioned that in 2018, FILA unveiled at Milan Fashion Week with a new collection, organically combining sportswear with High Fashion and the most hype fashion elements of the moment, and extracting the iconic elements of the century-old history to create a unique “high sports fashion”, which successfully caught people’s attention, which was a milestone in the revival of FILA, and FILA became the first sports brand to land on the main schedule of Fashion Week. Prior to this, the way other sports brands appeared on the main calendar of fashion week was limited to dragonfly collaborations.

In 2018, FILA became the first sports brand to appear on the main agenda of Milan Fashion Week

Recently, FILA appeared in Milan Fashion Week for the fourth time, in order to commemorate the 110th anniversary of FILA in 2021, a very representative brand milestone, FILA and the UK’s most well-known fashion director and founder of “The Perfect Magazine” magazine Katie Grand launched the “Legend Forward” collection for autumn and winter 2021 FILA’s classic elegance.

FILA fashion campaign spokesperson Huang Jingyu also appeared on the Milan Fashion Week runway for the first time

Only brands that can precipitate history and strive to innovate can continue to inherit and achieve classics in the challenges of history. FILA has shaped the legendary road of 110 years with countless classic products and legendary characters, and with its 110-year history, it has defined the trend of future haute couture in Milan and presented the charm of haute couture to the world. FILA is not just about sports, it is a way of life. With today’s growing consumer interest in casual wear, FILA is the undisputed leader in this field.

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