Leading global sportswear and activewear brand Fila has recently announced it will launch two initiatives during Milan Woman’s Fashion Week in September 2018. For the first time it will present a fashion show and in the same days will hold an exhibition of its history and icons at Triennale di Milano. Both events are aimed at showing the market its past heritage and disclosing its future evolution.
Gene Yoon, global chairman, Fila, the group that recorded approximately US$2.3 billion in revenues, explains some of the reasons behind the company’s new choice. “The fashion world has shown a keen interest in Fila in the last couple of years. Sportswear has become increasingly important in the fashion industry, an approach that has become more than just a seasonal trend, and a fundamental element of the fashion DNA as it is what consumers are looking for nowadays,” he says.
“We have started initiating interesting collaborations with prominent fashion brands such as Fendi, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Jason Wu and Baja East–and particularly interesting about them is that these fashion brands knocked on the doors of Fila first. To work with such successful brands contributed to our international visibility in the fashion world.”
And he underlines that the Milanese events won’t be a one-shot initiative: “These collaborations were something unexpected but we subsequently realized that it was a great opportunity for the further growth of Fila in a previously unexplored field. We thought it was our significant moment to enter the fashion arena as we strongly believe that a fashion show is the optimum method to spread our voice throughout the fashion world. Our heritage, that will be celebrated with an exhibition at La Triennale in Milan, is so rich in inspiration that just one event won’t be enough to demonstrate our future.”
For this new special collection, Fila has appointed Antonino Ingrasciotta and Joseph Graesel as the creative directors for Fila during Milan Fashion Week. “Their background perfectly amalgamates sport and fashion. By delving into the Fila archive, they’ve brought together a collection that takes the brand to the next level. Fila’s past is now intertwined with its future,” explains Yoon.
The company decided to show in Milan and not in another fashion capital for various reasons. “This fashion show in Milan represents an homage to our origins. Furthermore, we genuinely believe that Italy is one of the first countries to have been involved in premier fashion and is also a land abundant in beauty and creativity. Fashion consists of the main expressions of these elements. We also think that Milan Fashion Week is one of the most relevant and contemporary platforms in terms of presence and visibility.” Moreover, Milan has been involved with several up-and-coming brands that often mix streetwear and sportswear inspiration, including Palm Angels, M1992 and others. The city is therefore definitely the place where experimentation and many new young-minded projects get their start.
But where is Fila heading? Does it aim to also offer a fashion designer collection? Apparently, the revamping of its own DNA, roots and evolution have hit the right chords. As Fila’s sportswear “regular” collections are appreciated in the market, as seen during the last trade shows, riding the wave of its own success with its own high-end collection seems to be the right move.