Made in Italy: Fila

This article is part of our Italian Week on Tennis Buzz.

Extract of John McEnroe’s autobiography, Serious:

The first time I ever saw Borg, I was a ballboy for him.
He would have been 15 or 16, I was 12 or 13. I thought he was incredible-looking – the long hair, the headband, that little bit of scruff on his face that he’d get from not shaving for a couple of weeks.
And the Fila outfit – the tight shirts and short shorts… I loved that stuff! I would have trade anything, back then, to get a Fila striped shirt; a jacket was a big deal. (As a matter of fact, I did once trade about half the contents of my suitcase for a Fila jacket, and it almost fit!)

The cooperation of Swedish tennis legend Bjorn Borg, and Fila is one of the most famous and successful chapters of Tennis fashion history. Some of those clothes belong to the most beautiful tennis and lifestyle wear ever created. Borg was well known for his signature look of an on court polo and a post match zip jacket that blended a classic look with strong 70’s styling.

Bjorn Borg

Fila Bjorn Borg

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This article is part of our Italian Week on Tennis Buzz.

What do tennis stars Chris Evert and Guillermo Vilas, ski icon Marc Girardelli and F1 champion Alain Prost have in common? These sporting legends have all been sponsored by italian sports-lifestyle brand ellesse.

The ellesse name is based on the initials LS of its founder, Leonardo Servadio, an Italian tailor with an innovative approach to styling and manufacture.
In 1959, Servadio created a revolutionary stretch ski pant which established ellesse among the elite alpine social circles, making it the ultimate aspirational brand.

The famous half-ball ellesse logo combines the trips of a pair of skis with a cross section of a tennis ball, to symbolize the brand’s heritage in these sports. The ellesse brand is often cited as one of the first ever brands to feature their company logo on the outside of the clothes, a move copied by brands worldwide ever since.

Evert Ellesse Vilas

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