What Does FILAGOLF’s Versailles Collection Inspire in the Sports Industry?

5月 08, 2024

Recently, Luxeplace.com has observed the standalone building located at the southwest corner of Sanlitun in Beijing, whose facade now features golden decorations symbolizing Apollo, the “Sun King,” a symbolic icon of the Palace of Versailles.

This eye-catching standalone store is FILA’s first global FILA ICONA flagship store. The Baroque style facade marks FILA’s first art-themed wall decoration. This not only refreshes consumers’ traditional impression of FILA stores but also piques their curiosity.

The “Palace of Versailles” serves as the key thematic link. As the first domestic sports brand to receive official authorization from the Palace of Versailles, FILA’s golf sub-brand, FILA GOLF, recently held a grand show in Versailles, France. Concurrently, a FILA Versailles-themed pop-up store has been set up in Sanlitun’s South Square, available for a limited time.

Alongside these activities, FILA introduced its new brand concept, “Make Performance Beautiful,” emphasizing sports aesthetics.

Consumer demand for sports brands continues to evolve, from the past single requirement of “professionalism” to a combination of “professionalism” and “fashion,” and now to more diverse and complex expectations. To continue penetrating the market, sports brands must find their own differentiated approaches.

How does FILA address the challenge of “sports aesthetics”? What do these series of actions reveal about FILA’s strategic layout?

How Did Fila Bring the Palace of Versailles to Beijing?

On April 23, FILA held the “FILA GOLF Versailles Show” at the Mantenon Castle Golf Course in France, featuring a central decoration of a “Sun King” Apollo in gold.

Following this, the iconic element of Versailles made its appearance in Beijing. The facade of the world’s first FILA ICONA flagship store in Sanlitun underwent a major renewal, echoing the new show concept.

In Sanlitun’s South Square, a FILA Versailles-themed pop-up store was erected, blending the Baroque architectural style of Versailles with the image of golf. The store includes a swing interaction zone and an immersive experience area, using special digital art and lighting installations to recreate spaces like the famous Hall of Mirrors and the Hall of Plenty in Versailles.

The FILA ICONA flagship store opened in February this year. ICONA, meaning “Iconic” in Italian, signifies something symbolic and representative of the brand’s DNA. Before the renovation of the “Sun King” facade decoration, the store’s architectural design already fully incorporated Italian aesthetic elements that resonate with the brand’s genes.

At the store’s entrance, Norman arches and Roman columns are transformed into streamlined designs. Inside, the floor is laid with antique tiles, and the ceiling’s design is inspired by the dome of the Roman Pantheon. The shoe and clothing walls take inspiration from Milanese exterior bricks, exuding classical charm.

Every aspect of the store design reflects FILA’s consideration of aesthetics, allowing consumers to experience sports aesthetics and immerse themselves in the essence of European culture.

The FILA ICONA flagship store was the first to introduce FILA GOLF’s Versailles collection, authorized by the museum, and designated as the exclusive channel for limited edition products worn by celebrities such as Yang Mi and Mi Ka. Highlight products include a black Baroque 3D collared POLO, a black Baroque dress, and black Baroque golf shoes.

Yang Mi, FILA’s spokesperson, attended the image release and the flagship store’s facade renewal ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The new collection adds luxurious and noble artistic decorations to the fashionable style of golf, continuing the brand’s core commitment to professional sports technology and craftsmanship.

For example, the brand’s renowned POLO shirts are crafted with exquisite printing techniques involving 6 hours of manual carving and 12 printing checks; the comfortable, unconstrained 3D collared design is refined through 10 manual adjustments. Using “ColdBlack® technology,” the shirts address the heat absorption issue of black fabrics, effectively reducing sweating by 58% and blocking 30°C heat transfer. Moreover, the HYPER MOVE unrestricted structural technology is applied, incorporating high-elasticity straps on the back shoulders to optimize stretchability.

FILA has long-term collaborations with professional sports events and athletes, and with its Italian textile craftsmanship, it has deep technical expertise in intimate and sportswear. Last year, FILA GOLF collaborated with the British luxury car brand McLAREN, applying automotive technological innovations to fashion craftsmanship. Today, the Versailles museum authorized collaboration series further demonstrates FILA’s pursuit of ultimate performance and continues to bring unique design insights to its products.

How Does Fila Understand Sports Aesthetics?

Both the facade renovation of the FILA ICONA flagship store and the grand show in Versailles, France, serve as an introduction to FILA’s new narrative theme, “Make Performance Beautiful.”

“Make Performance Beautiful” can be interpreted to mean “making sports performance more beautiful.”

Sports are inherently beautiful, and FILA aims to continue leveraging its strengths in both fashionable and professional sports, integrating more artistic and cultural symbols, and leading high-end sports aesthetics.

Understanding the brand’s history will help us grasp FILA’s concept of sports aesthetics.

It is quite rare for a brand like FILA, with a century-long history and deep roots, to exist in the sports domain. FILA was founded in 1911 at the foot of the Alps in Biella, a town in Italy. Those familiar with the Italian textile industry will recognize Biella as a hub for top-notch textile manufacturing, home to other high-quality luxury brands known for their fabrics, such as Loro Piana and Zegna.

Italy, the birthplace of the Renaissance, has had a profoundly important influence on the development of art in the Western classical and modern periods. Today, Italy remains a global center for fashion and luxury goods.

In the 1970s, FILA’s classic White Line tennis apparel series broke the old rule that tennis wear could only be white with its novel stripe design and elegant red and blue accents. Historically, FILA has influenced the aesthetic evolution of sportswear with its elegant and disruptive designs.

FILA ICONA flagship store brand history exhibition area

Today, by proposing “Make Performance Beautiful,” FILA is essentially upgrading its dialogue with its target audience. Where do high-end sports and elite athletes shop, what products do they need, and what experiences do they desire? FILA is exploring solutions that better meet the expectations of high-end consumers.

The FILA ICONA flagship store emphasizes a “full-scenario division” spatial upgrade, with three floors arranged around the core concept of sports aesthetics featuring different thematic scenes such as fitness, golf, tennis, outdoor activities, fashion leisure, and trendy scenes.

Scenes are the most direct channels through which consumers perceive brand quality. In high-quality sports settings, providing corresponding quality products and services, these elements work together to resonate with consumers and evoke their desire to purchase.

In terms of products, the FILA ICONA flagship store features limited, top-tier, and exclusive items, such as global rare goods, major sports event limited editions, celebrity-endorsed products by Hailey Bieber and Han Su-hee, and a new product line, FILA+, overseen by Lev Tanju, founder of the British street fashion brand Palace.

In the future, the FILA ICONA flagship store will also collaborate with more classic and modern art, such as the Centre Pompidou and Chinese artist James Jean, presenting facades with artistic attributes.

The rich artistic atmosphere within the space will inspire emotional connections in consumers, thereby touching on their purchasing desires. High-end and elite sports audiences have strong personal statements about art and fashion, and incorporating the beauty of art into the brand experience will also drive FILA’s target audience to align more deeply with the brand’s values.

Being a “Top Brand”: How Is Fila Strategizing?

Over the past decade, FILA has maintained its positioning in “high-end sports fashion,” driving sales performance and brand power to new heights. The new brand concept will help propel FILA’s continuous growth.

Shi Rui, Vice President of FILA Greater China, previously stated in a Luxeplace interview: “The next key step for FILA is to adhere to the high-end sports fashion brand positioning. The core for FILA to continue running is four words: elevating the brand.”

That is, FILA’s next strategy is to reinforce the brand’s high-end sports fashion identity while further solidifying the definition of “high-end.” On an operational level, FILA has defined a “three top-tier” strategy: “top-tier brand + top-tier products + top-tier channels.”

Channel-wise, FILA plans to cover core cities with landmark flagship stores, creating more FILA ICONA store types. The number of outlets will be maintained between 1900 and 2000. Currently, FILA has created multiple top-tier store types such as ICONA, F BOX, V6, and SHOE SQUARE. The choice of store locations also reflects FILA’s determination to connect with high-end sports and elite athletes.

This March, FILA launched its sixth-generation flagship store at Nanjing Deji Plaza. Located near Xinjiekou, known as “China’s No. 1 Commercial Area,” this location is a gathering place for numerous international top-tier luxury brands and attracts a significant portion of the local mid-to-high-end consumer base.

In terms of products, FILA emphasizes maintaining consumer interest with innovation and quality. It will increase investment in top-tier products and must-have items, while tapping into top overseas design resources to create high-quality products that meet all scenarios and cycles.

The new FILA store at Nanjing Deji features a special collection in collaboration with the Louvre. The “Latte Girl Open-Shoulder Back-Beauty Set” is inspired by the Louvre’s four sculptures depicting the “Open Shoulders, Chest Out, Back Expanded” posture, showcasing the art of movement.

Brand-wise, FILA has established a diversified spokesperson matrix represented by Hailey Bieber, Yang Mi, Zhang Lay, and Johnny Huang, and combined top-tier events and brand marketing to consolidate its fashion sports identity. Additionally, FILA uses annual brand shows and collaborations with top art IPs to innovate in cross-brand collaborations, expanding global recognition and international influence.


FILA is currently the second largest pillar brand of Anta Group. According to Anta Group’s latest annual report released in April, FILA’s revenue grew by 16.6% in 2023 to RMB 25.103 billion, with operating profit increasing by 60.8%. For FILA, how to deepen connections with more high-end consumers while maintaining the “high-end sports fashion” brand positioning remains a long-term challenge.

“Elevating the brand” is FILA’s core growth topic for the future. As sports brands continue to compete for market share, increasing their “desirability” will become a priority strategy. In this regard, sports brands share common ground with luxury brands, where the role of aesthetic value is increasingly evident.

With the launch of the new brand concept “Make Performance Beautiful,” and the Versailles-themed grand show, top-tier stores, and pop-up stores, FILA is clarifying its message of “sports aesthetics” with a stronger and clearer tune. This century-old Italian sports brand is showing unprecedented ambition and vitality in the Chinese market, taking big steps toward becoming a top brand in the sports field.

| Image Credit: Provided by FILA

丨Reporter:Jin Daixi

| Editor: Zhu Ruoyu