How Fila Snuck Back Into Favor

by MR Magazine Staff

Last month, the Italian sportswear brand Fila staged its very first runway show for Milan Fashion Week. Antonino Ingrasciotta and Joseph Graesel, the brand’s creative directors, delivered a very safe collection. There were hints of Fila’s nineteen-seventies tennis heritage—polos with napkin-sized collars—alongside billowy suits paired with sneakers. It was a show given by a label that is cashing in on recently built-up capital in the vintage market. Fashion folks continue to dig through their closets for old sportswear, and Fila, which first underwent a revival in niche communities, is now trying to see how far its image can stretch. At the last Milan Fashion Week, Fila made an appearance when the Instagram artist Hey Reilly repurposed its distinctive font in a “tongue-in-cheek” collaboration with Fendi. In 2015, Fila’s London team approached the Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy, who is known for his high-end spin on post-Soviet youth attire. Rubchinskiy produced a hoodie with a giant Fila logo and a muted-gray revisions of the company’s original tennis shoe and its low-top T-1 sneakers. The collaboration marked Fila’s return to the fashion mainstream after more than a decade of irrelevance. Fila wasn’t the first nineties brand to stage a runway revival or bring in a high-profile creative partner—Calvin Klein and Reebok have similarly reintroduced themselves—but the company saw enough other brands find success to know that this is a potential path to renewed relevance. Read more at The New Yorker.