An iconic brand in the world of tennis, FILA is back on the course. Once the largest sportswear manufacturer in Italy, with its familiar red-and-blue bar logo, FILA re-entered the golf apparel field this year under a new licensee, Fersten Worldwide, based in Montreal, and a new designer, Nancy Robitaille.
Founded by the Fila brothers in 1911, the brand achieved great prominence in tennis, especially in the 1970s, when it was worn by Bjorn Borg in his heyday. After a series of corporate shakeups, during which FILA was acquired by hedge fund Cerberus Capital Management, the brand was eventually bought out by FILA’s South Korea unit and is now based there. So for some years, FILA Golf had no presence in the United States. As FILA executives like to point out, this is not entirely unique — both Lacoste and Puma are international brands that have had lapses in their golfwear business.
Under its new principal designer, Robitaille, the new FILA golf collections have a slightly Euro spirit, with sophisticated color-blocking and graphic designs for men and women. FILA, she said, is undergoing “a huge resurgence” in Europe, where retro sports — or “sports heritage” — clothing is all the rage. The 2010 FILA golf clothes pick up strongly on the tricolor red-white-and-blue theme of the original FILA sportswear. The clothes include luxury Pima cottons as well as performance-oriented shirts and bottoms made of environmentally friendly recycled polyesters. The shirts have a FILA “heritage” logo on the sleeve.
FILA Golf apparel is available at green-grass shops and Amazon. For more information check out filagolf.com.