Fila Footwear Sales "Booming" In Reemergence As Lifestyle Brand
Fila is "suddenly connecting with a new generation, thanks to its retro appeal, the bulky sneaker trend and collaborations with stores such as Urban Outfitters," according to Lorraine Mirabella of the BALTIMORE SUN. Fila first "catapulted to popularity" in the '90s, but the brand has since "slowly lost relevance and money." Fila was eventually "sold to a Korean company, restructured and reinvented." Under its current model, license holders around the world "design and make Fila products for their markets." Fila North America, with its HQ in the Baltimore area, "works closely with retailers such as Barneys New York and Urban Outfitters to create exclusive products." The company also has "signed lifetime deals with former athlete endorsers" like Basketball HOFer Grant Hill. Fila also "recently signed rising U.S. tennis star Sofia Kenin." Fila is "much smaller" than local competitor Under Armour, but the company "sees itself as a fashion brand." Fila apparel sales also have "grown recently" to 30% of the business. The brand is still a "relatively small player in U.S. footwear," accounting for just 1.2% of retail sales, compared to UA's 3.4%. However, Fila's U.S. footwear sales are "booming" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 11/21).