Chunky shoes and jaw-dropping platforms are no longer restricted to wear by ravers, dads from the noughties or the Spice Girls. This is a trend that has taken the footwear world by storm (we’ve previously taken a look at the rise of chunky dad sandals here) – and Fila are quite clearly the frontrunners with their latest style drop.
Despite the brand’s history stretching back well over a century, it’s only in more recent years that the brand has established itself as a firm favourite in the worlds of leisurewear and youth culture. From champion tennis players to world-famous rappers, Fila is a brand that has grasped evolution without losing sight of what made it great in the first place.
Here, we’ll take a closer look at how Fila has risen from humble Italian textile manufacturer to global fashion behemoth, and discuss just what it is about Fila shoes that’s kept them at the forefront of casual style over the decades.
A look at Fila’s history: Where is Fila from?
Nestled among the foothills of the Alps, the town of Biella became the birthplace of the big-name brand in 1911. Founded by two brothers from the eponymous Fila family and originally specialising in the manufacture of underwear, the firm steadily expanded until the ‘70s, where it made the shift that would transform it into one of the world’s leading leisure wear firms.
In 1972, Fila debuted its first outerwear collection, designed by the innovative Pier Luigi Rolando, before its soon-to-be famous White Line range followed a year later. With its bold and striking blend of colours and its clean, crisp aesthetic, the White Line collection became a huge favourite and catapulted Fila to global fame.
The brand was embraced by top tennis players of this era – most famously Bjorn Borg – and continued to rack up big-name endorsements in the game over the following decade, signing up stars including Boris Becker, Monica Seles, Jennifer Capriati and Kim Clijsters.
Hip-hop embraces the brand
Fila’s ascent to truly iconic status was actually cemented outside of the sporting arena. In the 1980s, as the burgeoning hip-hop scene in New York City and elsewhere exploded into a huge, worldwide commercial phenomenon, sportswear and sneaker brands became key status symbols within it – introducing them to a wholly new audience.
Colourful tracksuits, bucket hats, hefty gold chains and chunky sneakers were key streetwear style markers among the early hip-hop milieu; Fila’s distinctive look lent itself particularly well to this developing street aesthetic, and therefore made the crossover from tennis court to pop culture.
Not only has the brand been referenced in classic old-school hip-hop tracks such as Schoolly D’s ‘Put Your Filas On’, ‘My Fila’ by Fresh Gordon and Steady B’s ‘Do the Fila’, but its trainers and clothing have been proudly sported by some of the most respected figures in rap, including LL Cool J, Nas and Tupac Shakur.
With Nike and Reebok standing strong as the big dogs of the basketball court, Fila sought to muscle in on this market by signing up rising basketball star Grant Hill in ‘94. Hill’s career never quite reached the peaks it was expected to due to persistent injuries, but the partnership did produce the iconic Grant Hill sneakers of the mid-1990s, which were again warmly embraced in the hip-hop world (Tupac can be seen wearing them in the liner booklet of his ‘All Eyez on Me’ album).
Fila in the new millennium
However, the brand did experience something of a fallow period as the new millennium dawned – at least in Europe and the US. But in more recent years, Fila has come back as a force to be reckoned with and has once again re-emerged as one of the leading names in sneakers and sportswear.
So what’s spurred this remarkable, recent revival?
Fila’s relative unfamiliarity in the 2000s meant that by the turn of the following decade, a new generation could look at its sneakers and clothing with fresh eyes. The signature look hasn’t changed all that much since it first burst on to the scene in the ‘70s, but the fact that it continues to capture people’s attention shows just how ahead of the game it was from the start.
In particular, the rebooted version of the classic Fila Disruptor – the Fila Disruptor 2 – has shaken up the sneaker scene all over again. Revived just in time to capitalise on the ‘ugly’ sneaker trend of recent years, the Disruptor’s chunky sole and bulky retro design have made it (and the wider Fila brand) immensely popular.
Where to buy cheap Fila Disruptors
If you’re looking to pick up a pair of cheap Fila Disruptors, you’ve come to the right place – at Wynsors, you’ll find Disruptors alongside other classic women’s Fila trainers, including the rebooted ’96 and the Fila Ray, in a variety of colourways to suit your style.
Have we answered the questions you never knew you had about this iconic brand? If you have any other burning queries about Fila shoes, feel free to get in touch with our team of friendly experts on Facebook. Shop our range of cheap Fila shoes right here at Wynsors.