Fila heads for fashion-led revamp

Sportswear company Fila is repositioning itself as a premium fashion-led brand in a bid to raise awareness of its products and to increase market share. It plans to relaunch in the UK later this year.

The move is being led by Fila’s US and Italian teams, and the plan has been developed in a series of Global Vision Meetings held over recent months. It will be implemented in the UK by Fila licensee and distributor Proline International, which took over the UK management of the brand last September (MW September 11, 2003).

The UK team has been strengthened with the appointment of David Blundell as creative director for Fila’s UK apparel range.

He joins from sports brand Fred Perry, where he was responsible for revitalising the brand by focusing on its heritage. Sheelpa Patel has also been appointed as marketing manager.

Fila is planning to take on rivals such as Puma and Adidas Originals at the upper end of the fashion market. It will retain its association with a limited number of sports, including tennis and athletics, but will no longer develop products for other categories, such as football.

It is understood that it will focus on its Italian heritage and its apparel and footwear ranges will be design-led. The brand has global ambitions, which will be supported with an increase in advertising spend.

Fila was bought by Sports Brands International, a subsidiary of investment fund management company Cerberus, last year.

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