When I was at high school, in the 90s, there were several brands it was v cool to be seen in, particularly on the sweater front: Fruit of the Loom, blah, blah and FILA. Offfft, in fact, I’ve just had a right ol’ flashback of FILA hi-top trainers, too. They were like ~the~ trainers to have (at my school, anyway). There were the leather versions in red, blue or white, with a velcro tab at the top, as I recall – but there was also a super pimped-up style: white and black two-tone, with a double set of contrasting colour laces. How very 1993.
So you can imagine my confusion-slash-excitement when I saw pictures from the AW18 Fendi show in Milan last week and clocked what looked v-e-r-y much like FILA jumpers and bags on the models. I thought at first glance perhaps they were knock-offs, like the ones I used to get from Wembley Market:
Turns out, the collaboration is kosher. Both are Italian brands, both begin with F. Karl Lagerfeld, Fendi’s co-head designer, approached FILA about combining the famous ‘F’ logos, as Louis Colon (snigger!), VP of Heritage at FILA explains:
“It actually sparked from a creative that was out there on the interwebs and it started a conversation between both brands.
“Karl Lagerfeld is the co-head designer and what we’ve been doing in the market — really staying true to what we are and talking to our customer directly — I think really was the spark that made this beautiful high-end brand like Fendi say lets do something with Fila.”
“Obviously, the logo and font is a part of our DNA and to see it spelled out in Fendi was a great unique street wear take on it.”
The creative Colon (snort!) refers to, comes from a mash-up made by Scottish-born graphic designer, artist and Instagram user @hey_reilly, famous for splicing slogans in a snarky sorta way, who first noticed the double F potential over a year ago:
Says Reilly of his vision becoming actual IRL:“I’m beyond flattered, I’m stunned, I’m utterly delighted, I’m… I’m … just so happy that some of my work – that was made in the spirit of fun for lols likes and sharing – should end up in the real world being seen by Karl Lagerfeld let alone made part of the Fendi collection.”
“I would like to thank Karl, his team and everyone at Fendi for their generosity of spirit, sense of humour and sheer panache for including a small part of my work in a small part of their collection.”
The Fendi x FILA products will be available from August 2018 exclusively in a selection of Fendi boutiques and on the website. But no doubt the price-tag will be more Fendi than FILA so I’ll probs have to head back to the market for a moody version, just like the 90s again!