Founded in 1911, Fila has grown to become one of the most iconic sportswear brands in the world. Starting in the small Italian town of Biella, they reach every corner of the globe and have been worn by some of the best athletes in the world. Here are some of the most iconic Fila sporting looks.
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Björn Borg - Tennis
In 1974 Fila introduced one of their most iconic and transformative clothing ranges. Named after the stripes of a tennis court, The White Line was a creation that would ultimately change the world of tennis clothing forever. Before this, tennis players would wear almost entirely white outfits.
Not only did Fila's new line bring an element of colour and detail to tennis clothing, it also brought a sense of uniformity. Everything from the sweatband around your head down to your shorts and socks would match.
Unlike the sporting clothes of the past, Fila's new state of the art collection was tight fitting and flexible. Not only did this emphasise the athlete's physique, it allowed for greater manoeuvrability.
In order to create an emotional connection with the customer, they needed endorsement from players. This came in the form of the Swedish tennis champion, Björn Borg. When Borg signed a contract with Fila in 1975, a unique range of clothes was designed for him by Pierluigi Rolando.
The striped polo shirt with a red and blue collar would go on to become a quintessential piece of men's sportswear fashion. The unique and stylish design combined with Borg's success helped to propel Fila's reputation to new heights.
Although unwelcome at first, Fila's White Line became extremely popular with working class youth culture across Europe. As much as Fila wanted their clothing to be associated with top quality sports, it was this niche following that meant they remained a popular streetwear brand.
Reinhold Messner - Mountaineering
After the success they had with re-inventing the world of tennis clothing, Fila moved into the more specialist area of mountaineering. By using the ultimate in modern clothing technology Fila was able to produce some of the best pieces of outerwear fashion.
The managing director of Fila, Enrico Frachey, had a special love for mountain climbing. They went on to create the White Rock range of clothing. Through extensive research and high-end materials, they managed to produce an outfit that could withstand the harsh mountain conditions. As well as promoting the achievement's of mountain climbers in a magazine, Fila had influenced another sport.
Fila created the famous 'sailcloth' jacket out of the same material used for boat sails. It featured four pockets and a side gusset to make movement easier. It was the legendary mountain climber, Reinhold Messner, who would make a name for this jacket.
Becoming the first man to climb Mount Everest alone, and without supplementary oxygen, made Messner an iconic figure in the world of mountain climbing. The fact that he achieved this whilst wearing Fila clothes meant that the brand also gained a reputation for producing top quality clothes.
Ingemar Stenmark - Skiing
Keeping in line with creating top quality clothes for specialist sports, by 1981 Fila had moved into the world of alpine skiing. By this point, Fila had become renowned for producing high-quality extreme sports clothing.
Additionally, the rich wealth of knowledge they had acquired from previous sporting lines meant they were well primed for producing the best technical clothing for skiers.
However, much like the other sports, it wasn't until a world famous athlete began wearing their clothes that they really took off. The Swedish skiing champion, Ingemar Stenmark, became that athlete.
It was here that people first witnessed the now iconic blue and yellow jacket. By replacing the thick sweaters that were usually worn by skiers of the time, the reinforced jacket provided protection and flexibility. It was the task of designer Pierluigi Rolando to create a piece of outerwear that was lightweight, safe and stylish.
Once again, Fila had managed to influence the sporting clothes world. After this moment, the majority of other skiing manufacturers began to copy Fila and produce similar items of clothing.
Giovanni Franceschi - Swimming
Throughout the 1970s Fila continued to grow their list of specialist sporting clothes. In 1976, with designer Pierluigi once again at the helm, they produced the Aqua Time swimming range. Through extensive research and design, they managed to produce a range of lightweight and slimline swimming costumes for both men and women.
The endorsement from the Italian Olympic swimming team, with members such as Giovanni Franceschi, helped to raise Fila's clothing range to the next professional level.
In 1977, Fila also developed a unique 'egg membrane' material. This extra thin, highly resistant and smooth fabric was patented by Fila and hugely reduced water friction on swimmers. With world famous swimmers such as Giovanni Franceschi wearing their products, Fila easily made a name for themselves.
The Spring/Summer 2017 range from Fila is a perfect mix of their heritage aesthetic and modern innovation. By taking classic styles like the vertical striped shirt and combining them with new designs they have created the perfect modern collection. Here are a few of our favourite pieces.
On That Note
Whether you're a world famous sportsman or someone that likes great quality sportswear, Fila has got the experience to help. The rich heritage of this brand is demonstrated through the legendary sportsmen that wore them. Although the 7os and 80s were a golden era for Fila's sporting ranges, they remain one of the coolest brands around. Whether it's street or sportswear, Fila is still one of the most stylish brands around today.