The past few years have witnessed the revival of long forgotten sports brands. What's more, the comeback of the intimately familiar logos of the 90’s turned out to be a roaring success. Eventually they invaded fashion houses and catwalks, which was later followed by appearance on the Internet and out in the streets as well as in favoured hang-out spots of young people.
FILA, the Italian brand, is in no doubt at the top of this trend. Collaborations with Gosha Rubchinskiy, Fendi, Liam Hodges, A Bathing Ape, Schott NYC and breakthroughs in the sneaker segment brought back the older generation at the same time inspiring interest of the younger generation in the once revered brand.
Founded in 1911 in Italy by the Fila brothers, the company started with the manufacturing and selling of fabrics. Soon they ventured into manufacturing underwear, and it was not until 1973 that the story of sportswear, under the brand name of FILA, finally took off. The company's famous logo (the letter F written in squared font) was designed at the same time and still can be found on brand's items. It was also in 1973 that the company sealed a deal with the tennis player Bjorn Borg, who went on to become an 11-time Grand Slam champion wearing his FILA kit, while the brand itself gained global recognition and popularity.
The result was the appearance of truly great items that not only managed to become symbols of youth culture of that time, but also had a big impact on future development of styles and self-identification. We're not talking of classic sportswear outfits from the American show The Sopranos, instead, we're thinking FILA Trailblazer.
After the success of the tennis line FILA White Line, the Italian brand proceeded to what is now known as the Performance & Outdoor segment. The company pursued the strategy they had developed during their time with Bjorn Borg to promote their products. The Italian mountain climber Reinhold Messner was equipped with FILA sportswear, being the first to reach the top of all 14 'eight-thousanders' and one of the first to reach the 7 highest peaks of all the continents as well as the two Poles. Along with him on the list of the brand's ambassadors was Ingemar Stenmark, the mountain skier, known as the top-1 pro in the technical disciplines in skiing history. This marked a new chapter in the story of the Italian brand. Following on from new tech clothing was new footwear of different shapes that would fuel the ambitions of the sports clothing giant, and so came the birth of FILA Trailblazer.
Established in 1990, FILA Trailblazer created footwear specifically for hiking and mountain tourism. In fact, the company was inspired by Nature itself, for Biella, the home of FILA, is in the north of Italy and so is surrounded by mountains. As it happens, Trailblazer later expanded out into the streets. The comfort, design, price-to-quality ratio and practicality were soon picked up by different youth cultures.
Just as in the early 70’s and late 80’s, sports footwear for indoor activities became the casual style classic. FILA Trailblazer symbolized the 90’s generation - the followers of the rave culture. FILA Trailblazer was especially welcomed into the UK, where the local climate issues made FILA Trailblazer shoes some kind of all-season footwear. They withstood heavy wear and tear, proving ideal for non-stop rave and for constantly and literally moving about. Their silhouette too was a perfect match for the baggy outfits on the rave scene.
For similar reasons, FILA Trailblazer was also popular with school and college students. Their classic design in combination with black leather allowed them to fall under school uniform.
At the end of the day, FILA Trailblazer has left an enormous mark on multiple generations and has secured itself a firm place among the icons of street style fashion.