FILA’S Back In Style

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Brooke Harris, Business Manager

  When the Fila brothers first opened shop in 1911 in Biella, a small town in the foothills of northern Italy. They had no idea how far their legacy would travel. The tennis shoe, Fila, was first brought out in the year of 1996. Many people would call them “ the dad shoe”. Although there are many new trends in the year 2019, one of the most popular is the old-time Filas. The shoe has been a hit lately, selling briskly at stores.

    Through the nineteen-eighties, the brand stuck mostly to tennis. Their tracksuit traded on the exclusivity of the tennis clubs that were then the brand’s core market. The tracksuit could be seen on up-and-coming rappers, such as LL Cool J, who, along with Run D.M.C. and their song “My Adidas,” helped nationalize the adoption of what was at the time still boutique clothing brands. “A lot of those were high-ticket priced and were never targeted to young urban males, but they adopted it to be a part of their culture,” Louis Colon III, the vice-president of heritage and trends at Fila, said.

After returning to the U.S. nearly seven years ago, Fila was a family value brand focused on big channels like Kohl’s Corporation. During the time, however, Fila opened up a new channel, Fila Heritage, aimed at widening its exposure to the sneakerhead market.

Fila’s “heritage” category has grown rapidly and has become a key business driver for the brand, with sales of the segment up 46 percent this year. Over the past four years, Fila’s heritage business has doubled.

“ We are making the brand a fashion brand and marketing to a younger consumer, applying new techniques. The conversation you will see around the brand will be a lot different. We want to tell a fashion story with a sporting twist. Everything you see from us has a sport twist, ” Colon said.