Just a few years ago the athletic clothing company Fila celebrated its 100 year birthday. Founded by the Fila brothers in 1911 in the foothills of northern Italy, the brand originally manufactured undergarments until the late 1970s when they transition into an innovative and globally recognized major manufacturer of athletic apparel.
Fila's début into the sportswear industry was originally through tennis, with its first athletic collection labelled "The White Line." Using fabrics such as wool and cashmere in novel ways - allowing for free flowing movement while maintaining stylish clean lines - and the unconventional use of bright accent colours, Fila quickly established its name as a leading sports apparel company.
Fila's début marked not only a new era for the company, but also in the sportswear industry at large. The White Line Collection proved that classic could break free from conservative, and that timeless designs can incorporate the contemporary. By the 1990s Fila was a bona fide athletic apparel juggernaut. Fostering relationships with some of the centuries top athletes - it was the collaboration with basketball superstar Grant Hill that catapulted Fila to a new level of success. With its foray into basketball, coinciding with the 1990s NBA hey-day, Fila basketball shoes infiltrated a previously Nike-Reebok dominated sport, becoming an instant success both on and off the court.
Killing it in the sneaker buisness, the Fila-Grant combo was making history, selling more pairs - 1.5 million - than the début of any signature basketball shoe since the Air Jordan 1. As an encore, Fila put forth the iconic Fila GH2 (or 96) which became one of the most readily recognizable 1990s sneaker.
The 1990s coupling of basketball and hip-hop culture further catapulted Fila to unprecedented success. Some of the biggest names in 90s hip hop such as Tupac and L L Cool J proudly repped the iconic logo. Today vintage Fila is back in a huge way - with the resurgence of athletic inspired urban streetwear.
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