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The history of Fila began in 1911, when two Italian brothers, the Filas, created the company as an underwear manufacturer. In the 1970s, the company, with director, Enrico Frachey, turned its focus towards sportswear and athletic shoes, attempting to compete with Nike and Reebok.
Fila had its first endorsement from tennis player Bjorn Borg, who started to wear clothing that featured the Fila logo. Borg went onto win 11 titles, all while wearing Fila tennis apparel. His support put the Fila brand in a state of new-found worldwide recognition.
The story of Fila's transformation into a leading global designer of high-end sportswear has been one of continual evolution driven by a philosophy of innovation that lies at the heart of their most successful designs. In 1923, the brothers officially established the expanding family-run textile business as a high-quality knitwear manufacturing company, entering into a limited partnership named Maglficio Biellese. Through the years, the business grew beyond the borders of Biella to become a well-known quality knitwear producer for Italy.
In 1942, the company merged with the Fratelli Fila company, and by 1972 the company had sales of over one billion lire and a total workforce of more than 250 people. Wishing to further expand the company, Giansevero Fila hired Enrico Frachey as the managing director of the firm in 1968. Frachey shared Fila's vision and it was his creativity and managerial resourcefulness that ultimately transformed Fila into a global sportswear brand.
In the 1970’s, sports rose to international prominence with tennis leading the charge as a form of individual expression. It represented the never tiring human spirit and celebrated its tenacity. The company took a note and prepared for its bold debut into the sportswear industry.
An old Fila ad read: You can wear Fila. Or you can compromise.
And there was some truth to that. Aside from their irreverent aesthetic, the textile composure of the garments combined materials designed to hug the wearer close without being overbearing. Wool, cashmere, and acrylic blends aided the form fitting with a capital F. Functional design ingenuity that complemented motion. A brand focused on performance, fashion, sophistication, premium fabrics, and Italian craftsmanship. You can wear Fila, or you can compromise.
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