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1911-1969:

The Early Years

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. Originally in the business of creating quality textiles for local townspeople, the brothers sought to produce fabrics that combined luxury, art and utility, drawing inspiration from their homeland to create product as exquisitely textured and evocative as the Italian landscape.

1911

The Beginning

Fila was founded in 1911 in Biella, Italy located in the foothills of the Italian Alps. The Fila brothers' business started with textile & knitwear.

Warehouse Lining Photo
In the original warehouse, dozens of machines were able to complete the lining of the knitwear.
Giansevero Fila Photo
Giansevero Fila, who, with his three brothers, started a knitwear company in Biella, Italy.

The Beginning

Fila was founded in 1911 in Biella, Italy located in the foothills of the Italian Alps. The Fila brothers' business started with textile & knitwear.

Fabric Pile Photo
Workers piled fabrics as the Fila brothers began to expand their business.

1942

A steady expansion

Maglieficio Biellese Photo
Fila continued its expansion into a larger new warehouse.

A steady expansion

Throughout 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. By 1972 had sales of over one billion lire and a total workforce of more than 250 people

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The 1970s:

The White Line Era

Wishing to further expand the company, Giansevero Fila hired Enrico Frachey as the managing director in 1968. Frachey shared Fila's vision and it was his creativity and managerial resourcefulness that ultimately transformed Fila into a global sportswear brand. The 20th century saw a new form of individual expression: sports, particularly tennis. It was becoming the epitome of grace, style and an example of the robust vivacity of the human spirit.

1973

Introduction to Fila Apparel: The White Line

White Line Collection with F-BOX Photo
The decade-iconic Fila F-box is combined with a simplistic collection title.
Spring Summer 1977 Sketch Photo
Sketches from the White Line Collection - Spring Summer 1977.

Introduction to Fila Apparel: The White Line

As of the company prepared for its bold debut into the sportswear industry, Frachey tasked two men with ensuring its success: the innovative designer Pier Luigi Rolando, the artist behind our most decade-iconic designs, and Alessandro Galliano, the superbly knowledgeable engineering director. Inspired by Frachey's own climbs on the cliffs near Biella, Rolando and Galliano began their work with the understanding that sport is life expressed through motion, and that sportswear must complement, not overpower, the athlete. They set to work creating fabric designed to mirror the movements of the athletes themselves, adhering smoothly to the body like a second skin yet providing a sense of total freedom.

The product of this collaboration was Fila's premiere outerwear collection, which debuted in 1972. Rolando's designs, utilizing wool and cashmere in novel ways, quickly became renowned for their seamless combination of grace and vigor. The following year, Fila's name was firmly established through the sports apparel industry with the introduction of the now legendary White Line collection. Named as a respectfully irreverent jab at the traditional product lines and the ubiquitous presence of all-white garments that had long dominated tennis apparel, the White Line collection was a fusion of the provocative and exemplary. The collection, aesthetically astonishing in its novel design and unconventional use of vibrant colors, yet beautifully simple in its effectiveness and function, immediately took the world by storm. The premiere collection marked the dawn of a new era, not just in Fila's history, but in the sportswear industry as a whole.

1973

Bjorn Borg

Bjorn Borg Pinstripe Photo
Bjorn Borg wears his decade-iconic pinstripe during the 1976 World Championships.

The White Line Collection made a statement: Classic doesn't have to mean conservative, and timeless designs can still be contemporary.

Fila has enjoyed a special relationship with remarkable athletes, marked by indomitable passion and incomparable performance. Debuting on the courts with tennis greats Adriano Panatta, Paolo Bertolucci and Bjorn Borg, Fila has had the fortune of helping extraordinary individuals accomplish some of history's most decade-iconic sports achievements. With the F-Box logo proudly displayed on his signature polo and headband, Fila followed Borg as he ascended to the pinnacle of sports history. By winning five consecutive victories at Wimbledon, Borg firmly established his legacy as tennis' most dominant and unique player, both in terms of technique and style.

Bjorn Borg MY GREATEST POINT IS MY PERSISTENCE. I NEVER GIVE UP IN A MATCH. HOWEVER DOWN I AM, I FIGHT UNTIL THE LAST POINT. MY LIST OF MATCHES SHOWS THAT I HAVE TURN A GREAT MANY SO-CALLED IRRETRIEVABLE DEFEATS INTO VICTORIES.

1976

Ingemar Stenmark

1977 Snowtime Collection Sketch Photo
A sketch from the 1977 SNOWTIME Collection.

Ingemar Stenmark

Ingemar Stenmark dazzled the world wearing Fila ski apparel and won an astonishing 1986 World Cup titles throughout his career.

An anatomically shielded jacket with hard plates was designed specifically for his constant style of acceleration and pushing aside of posts with his elbows and shoulder. In 1976, Fila created the sail-cloth jacket from the same material as boat sails. It had four pockets with a side pleat designed to allow greater freedom of movement.

Stenmark Pose 1976 White Rock Photo
Stenmark posed during the winter 1976 White Rock Collection photoshoot.
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The 1980s:

Totally Rad, Dude

Fila continued its rise to fame in the 1980s. More and more athletes were wearing Fila apparel, from golf to tennis to mountaineering. With the expansion into footwear, the Fila F-Box grew into a globally recognized decade-icon.

1982

Fila + USA Opens

1985 US Open Poster Photo
A stunning view of the stadium from the Fila 1985 US Open poster.

Fila + USA Opens

Fila begins sponsorship of the US Open and was the official supplier for the next 22 years. Tom Watson wins US Open wearing Fila golf apparel.

Tom Watson 1984 Photo
Tom Watson wore Fila golf apparel in this 1984 photograph.

Watson came from behind to win the US Open Championship in 1982, hitting one of the greatest shots in the history of golf - his chip in on the 17th hole.
1982 Men's Tennis Collection Poster Photo
Fila advertised with this poster for the 1982 Men's Tennis Collection.

1983

Introduction of Fila footwear: Original Tennis

First Shoe Advertisement
The Original Tennis advertising campaign introduced the world to Fila athletic footwear.

Introduction of Fila footwear: Original Tennis

Fila burst into the footwear scene in 1983 with the Original Tennis sneaker. Produced in Maryland, the sneaker was created in exclusive licensee by Homer Altice. The Original tennis has lasted through the years and has become a well known staple of the Fila footwear brand.

First Shoe Picture
The Original Tennis featured a bold slash of Fila's rich colors across the side.

1986

Reinhold Messner

Reinhold Messner Annapuma Photo
Messner smiled for the camera in 1985 as he reached the peak of Annapurna, in the Himalayan mountain range.

Reinhold Messner

In 1976, Messner began work with Pier Luigi Rolando designing garments and materials for mount climbers and hikers.

In 1986, when Reinhold Messner reached the treacherous summit of Everest, fueled by the spirit of adventure and the determination to be the first to scale the titan without the aid of additional oxygen, he wore high-tech mountain gear designed by Fila. Thirsting for more, he proceeded to scale 13 peaks of the Himalayas, leaving his mark on the history of mountaineering and raising the decade-iconic F-Box logo proudly to the highest peaks of the world.

1989

Boris Becker

Boris Becker Serving 1989 Monte Carlo Photo
Wearing Fila tennis apparel, Becker prepared his serve during the 1989 Monte-Carlo Masters.
Boris Becker I LOVE THE WINNING, I CAN TAKE THE LOSING, BUT MOST OF ALL I LOVE TO PLAY.

In 1989, history was changed again, as Boris Becker won the French Open, US Open, and Wimbledon - all in one year.

1989 Wimbledon Trophy Raising Photo
Becker raised the trophy as he captures the 1989 Wimbledon title.
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The 1990s:

Seeing with fresh eyes

Fila continued as a company committed to crafting sportswear as exceptional as its wearer. They would jump higher, run faster, and hit harder. Throughout the 1990s, Fila athletes changed the game. The age of the endorsement began and Fila athletes became the style shapers of sports.

1990

Monica Seles

Monica Seles 100 Year Photo
Seles wore her 1990 line of Fila tennis apparel.
Monica Seles 100 Year Photo
Returning the ball, Seles sports her pink Fila polo.

Seles became the youngest player ever to win the French Open. She goes on to become a 3 time French Open champion, 2 time US Open champion, and 4 time Australian Open champion.

Monica Seles THAT'S THE KEY TO SUCCESS, ISN'T IT? IT HAS TO BE FUN.

1992

A growing industry

Original Tennis - High Fila 7 Photo
The 1992 catalog showed the Original Men's Tennis shoe and the High Fila 7, a lifestyle and basketball shoe.
SkyRunner Photo
Fila's 1992 athletic footwear catalog cover - featuring the SkyRunner. Autunno/Inverno Fall/Winter 1992/1993.

A growing industry

In 1992, Fila started creating footwear catalogs. As the footwear business began to catch on for Fila, the company continued to expand into tennis, running, and lifestyle sneakers.

1993

Basketball, outdoor, and more

In 1993, Fila continued its exploration into basketball and outdoor sports footwear. The Cage has remained a popular sneaker in Fila's basketball footwear collection. It was designed for street-ball, as its name makes reference to chain-link fences often surrounding outdoor courts.

Runball  1993 Catalog Photo
In the 1993 catalog, the Runball Hi and Low were featured. In 1994, the Runball's brother shoe, the Jamball, was released.
Runball  1993 Catalog Photo
In the 1993 catalog, the Runball Hi and Low were featured. In 1994, the Runball's brother shoe, the Jamball, was released.

Basketball, outdoor, and more

In 1993, Fila continued its exploration into basketball and outdoor sports footwear. The Cage has remained a popular sneaker in Fila's basketball footwear collection. It was designed for street-ball, as its name makes reference to chain-link fences often surrounding outdoor courts.

Fitness Hikers 1993 Catalog Photo
The Fitness Hikers referenced the Original Fitness sneaker, with a heavier tread for outdoor hiking.

1994

Alberto Tomba

Alberto Tomba Gate Photo
Alberto Tomba swept past a gate in 1994, wearing Fila Ski apparel.

Fila expanded its team of athletes in 1994, as Alberto Tomba won the World Cup slalom. A Tennis professional since age 17, Tomba achieved success in Slalom and Giant Slalom, winning three gold medals in the 1988 and 1992 Winter Olympics.

1995

NBA Superstar

Grant Hill collaborated with Fila and launched his collection of basketball shoes. He was named NBA co-rookie of the year. Hill's basketball shoes became a success on and off the court.

1996 Grant Hill Sneaker Photo
An image from the 1995 catalog of Men's Basketball Hardwood Series. Grant Hill's first basketball sneaker was featured. He went on to design two more versions of his famous Fila basketball sneakers.
Grant Hill Advertisement Dunk Photo
Sporting Fila basketball sneakers, Grant Hill played ball.

NBA Superstar

Grant Hill collaborated with Fila and launched his collection of basketball shoes. He was named NBA co-rookie of the year. Hill's basketball shoes became a success on and off the court.

Grant Hill Suit Pose Photo
Grant Hill became a known face for Fila basketball sneakers.

1996

German Silva

Silva Racer Catalog Photo
The Silva Racer in the 1997 Fila Running Footwear Catalog.
Silva Trainer Advertisement Photo
An advertisement highlighted German Silva and The Silva Trainer running sneaker.

German Silva

Silva won the first of two consecutive New York City Marathons after recovering from a wrong turn seven-tenths of a mile before the finish that put him 40 yards behind Benjamin Paredes. He ran a 5:15 final mile, including the detour to beat Paredes by two seconds.

1998

Giovanni Soldini

Giovanni Soldini Sitting Boat Fila Photo
Giovanni Soldini sat next to the decade-iconic linear Fila logo on his boat in 1998.

Giovanni Soldini

Soldini and his boat rescued a capsized competitor in the 1998-1999 Around Alone Race, even though he was leading the competition at the time. Soldini went on to win and set a new world record.

Giovanni Soldini HELLO. THIS IS FILA. I HAVE ISA ON BOARD WITH ME. ISA AND I ARE GOING BACK TO THE RACE.
Soldini calling into race officials by satellite phone after rescuing one of his competitors.
Soldini Applause Hand Shake Photo
Soldini was applauded as he won the 1998-1999 Around Alone Race.
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The 2000s:

Dawn of a new millenium

Have the courage to defy expectations, to challenge the limits of both yourself and the world around you. Be bold and provocative. Remain vintage, but never conventional, and show the world that it is possible to radiate sophistication and style without sacrificing performance. Above all, commit to standing out, not blending in. Here's to our history of looking forward, and a future of making history.

2003

Ducati superbike team

Ducati Performance Bike Red Curve Photo
Fila logos decorated the bikes of the Ducati performance Superbike Team.
Neil Hodgson Pose Bike Photo
Neil Hodgson represents the Ducati Superbike Team.

Ducati superbike team

Fila sponsored the Ducati Superbike Team in 2003.

2005

Kim Clijsters

Clijsters Returns Blue Photo
Clijsters strongly returned the ball wearing all-blue Fila tennis apparel.

Clijsters won US Open. Fila has been proud to support Kim Clijsters, first as she made history by coming out of an eighteen month retirement to win back to back US Opens in 2009 and 2010. She became the second mother to win a Grand Slam in the Open era and following in the footsteps of former Fila athlete and mother Evonne Goolagong-Cawley.

In 2011, our 100th anniversary year, Kim started out strong, winning the 2011 Australian Open, wearing a replica of one of Goolagong-Cawley's decade-iconic outfits from the early 1980's. With the announcement of Clijsters' retirement after the 2012 US Open, Fila designed a special commemorative "Trophy Collection" for Clijsters to wear at the last Grand Slam tournaments of her illustrious tennis career.

Kim was the only tennis player to be featured in Time Magazine's Time 100 for 2011.

Clijsters 2010 US Open Photo
Kim Clijsters won the 2010 US Open, in Fila apparel.

2007

Gene Yoon

Gene Yoon Sneaker Fila GLBH Photo
Gene Yoon showed off a Fila sneaker at a Global Leading Brands House and Fila event.

Gene Yoon

In 2007, Gene Yoon purchased the global Fila brand and all its international subsidiaries, making it the largest South Korean sportswear company. Yoon was named an honorary citizen of Biella, Italy in 2009.

Gene Yoon Honorary Citizen Photo
Gene Yoon was named honorary citizen of Biella, Italy.

2008

Wimbledon

Janko Tipsarevic Wimbledon Reach Photo
Above, Janko Tipsarevic returned the ball during the 2012 Wimbledon tournament. He is currently ranked 14th in Singles and 158th in Doubles.

Wimbledon

Fila becomes the official footwear licensee of Wimbledon in 2008.

2009

James Blake

James Blake Leap Blue Photo
James Blake leaped to reach a ball wearing his Fall 2009 Fila tennis collection.
James Blake IF MY LEG STARTS GOING AT ALL, THE CROWD WILL BE MY LEGS.

Fila signed with ATP World Tour Member James Blake, ranked in the top 10. He won the ATP Comeback Player of the Year after suffering a broken neck and shingles.

James Blake Dash Headband Photo
Blake sported his Fila headband during a match.

2011

100 years of Fila

Fila 100th Anniversary Photo
The Fila 100th Anniversary Logo.

100 years of Fila

In 2011, Fila celebrated the 100th anniversary of the company.

A century after its humble beginnings, Fila has become synonymous with performance and sophistication. Worn not only by internationally recognized athletes, but also the fashion conscious, Fila uses premium fabrics designed to radiate the sophistication of Italian craftsmanship, while allowing maximum flexibility and performance.

Our legacy of style earns us admiration to this day. Whether you perform for the challenge of adventure, the rigor of competition, or simply the pleasure and well-being of an active life, Fila understands that the beauty of sport is that of a life in motion.

2012

Fila Museum

Fila Museum Hallway Photo
The fondazione Fila Museum in Biella, Italy.

Fila Museum

The grand opening of fondazione FILA museum in Biella, Italy was in 2012.

Bjorn Borg Book Museum Photo
A book rests on a table at the Fila Museum to educate viewers of Fila's rich history, beginning with Bjorn Borg.
Mannequins Vintage Museum Collection Photo
Mannequins sport classic vintage Fila apparel at the Fila Museum for viewers.