NEW YORK — Fila’s new division, Filativa, launched in apparel last week with a collection of directional lifestyle looks designed for women and men ages 22 to 30.
Filativa is designed to be more “spirited and brash” than the core Fila offerings, said Kristin Kohler, general manager for the division. “We see this as a fusion between sport and fashion. It’s emotional and graphic.”
Among the looks in the initial 32-piece collection are a knit sweater hoodie, a vest with a funnel look, track jackets, cropped cotton pants and graphic-print T-shirts. Some items have special touches, such as a quilted coat with triangular zip pockets and a cinched waist closure. The line wholesales from about $17 for the T-shirts up to $85 for the outerwear pieces, Kohler said.
The first line of Filativa apparel was celebrated last week at a packed party and fashion show here featuring break-dancers wearing the new looks. A temporary store showcasing the brand is to open Friday at 199 Lafayette Street in the city’s trendy NoLIta neighborhood.
Filativa, which bowed at retail with a footwear collection this spring, is part of the company’s overall strategy to restake its claim in the sportswear industry after years of organizational and financial troubles. With the core Fila brand, the company is going back to its roots with more sophisticated products and a new marketing campaign intended to highlight the brand’s Italian heritage. That line is geared primarily toward customers in their 30s and 40s.
The company is now under the direction of Steve Wynne, president and chief executive officer of Fila’s parent firm, Sport Brands International.
Company executives said Filativa is anticipated to account for about 25 percent of overall sales by the end of 2008. Fila has global sales of about $1 billion, including licensing revenues.
Filativa apparel, which is to hit stores in October in time for holiday selling, will compete against brands such as Lacoste and Diesel that offer sport-inspired looks, as well as Puma, which has performance products but has been rapidly building up its lifestyle offerings. Filativa is targeting stores such as Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom as well as high-end boutiques, including Kitson in Los Angeles, for distribution of its apparel offerings.
Filativa has its own creative direction, including a separate logo and graphics, and a nontraditional marketing campaign is accompanying the launch, Kohler said. The 600-square-foot pop-up store will be open for 30 days here and includes paints and other materials for customers to design their own Filativa T-shirt. Products will not be for sale, but customers will be able to view the new Filativa footwear and apparel in a highly stylized setting, with plexiglas floors, a coffee bar and chairs made in Italy. A second pop-up store is planned to open in Los Angeles in June.
In addition to the launch of Filativa, Fila is moving forward with other plans to build its business. This Friday, SBI will move to its new 30,000-square-foot corporate headquarters to 340 Madison Avenue at 43rd Street here. A 4,000-square-foot space on the ground floor also will house a Fila flagship, set to open this summer.