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Founded in 1911 in Biella, Italy by the Brothers Fila, the Fila brand originally specialized in manufacturing high-quality fabrics and eventually underwear. Almost immediately, the company established itself among the country's elite fashion connoisseurs, and over several decades they gained a reputation for producing fine woven fabrics and textiles.
When Fila began producing athletics apparel and footwear in 1973, those 62 years working with raw materials translated into some high quality clothes and shoes, ground-breaking from the very beginning. Some of the first athletics apparel produced by Fila brought comfortable lightweight ribbed cotton into the game of tennis where it was worn by the likes of legend Bjorn Borg. Other original outwear was designed for soccer, golf, and even mountain climbing. In 1978, Reinhold Messner wore Fila clothing on his world famous climb up Mt. Everest without oxygen. Maybe it's not something the same caliber of historic summits, but Fila also unleashed the first velour tracksuit upon the world. Nightclubs haven't been the same since.
Fila's shoes were the company's main draw. The innovative designs of their tennis shoes made specifically for clay courts, and the company's 22-year sponsorship deal with the U.S. Open grabbed international attention from tennis players and fans alike. Fila became famous for developing high-quality tennis shoes to the specifications of talented athletes, and then sold these products with their cutting edge features to amateur players.
The company's unique approach to designing running shoes in the 1990s made them a favorite with runners worldwide. When other companies seemed to be adding all the technology their shoes could handle whether they needed it or not, Fila took a minimalist approach to footwear design, creating lightweight, low-profile shoes that enhanced the running experience rather than trying to artificially enhance the runner's abilities.
This low-key approach to shoe design-- giving the athlete the tools needed to compete in their sport without being unnecessarily flashy or technologically overbearing-- endures. A line of vintage designs has been reintroduced, injecting the current footwear market with some much needed old-school class and flair. In 2005, Fila launched a line of fitness products under the name Benessere seeking to capture the simple balance of Eastern philosophies, as well as a revolutionary line of golf clothing designed for easy-flowing movements in 2007. These innovations as well as the array of quality footwear and outerwear available today prove Fila is still committed to mastering high-quality fabrics and isn't afraid of new ideas.