Sportswear revival – The return of FILA, Ellesse & more

During the summer of 2015, I was driving around Manchester with my fella when something caught my eye; a boy walking along in an Fila sweatshirt.

Where the hell did he find that?” – Both Ryan and I felt like we’d spotted something from a prehistoric era. At the time this sweatshirt probably was considered a relic. Perhaps a charity shop gem he’d found for a fiver? Back in the day FILA was huge, but this was 2015 and I didn’t even know the brand still existed. Names like Fila, Champion and Ellesse were huge when I was younger, but the brightest starts burn the fastest and in the late 90’s our love affair with the them just seemed to fizzle out.

However, since that summer day in 2015 I’ve noticed brands these forgotten names have muscled their way back into the mainstream again and I for one am so ready for a retro sportswear revival.

I feel like I’m getting my second shot at sportswear after totally missing it the first time around. When I was younger I would never have even dreamed of owning a pair of fresh trainers. I lived off my sisters hand me downs and they weren’t even new items for her to begin with! These brands were what all the cool kids would wear – clutching their plastic, drawstring JD bags.

Seeing these brands creep back into focus like they’d never left sure gives me nostalgia. It was a sudden break in the monotonous, faux girl power bullshit we usually see from the likes of MissGuided and PLT.


A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

I speak about Kylie Jenner an alarming amount for a 24-year-old woman, but she’s basically my secret crush. We can definitely attribute this sudden sportswear revival to the Kardashian/Jenners to some degree. When they’re posting cute outfits like this on the regular, we can’t help but lust after a new pair of track pants and fresh trainers.

Kylie Jenner in particular is the driving force behind young girls following the athleisure trend. She certainly wasn’t the first, but being one of the most influential people on the internet with a huge reach of 85M on instagram alone, it would be criminal to overlook her as a modern day style icon. Yet she already knows her place in the sportswear world, that’s why it’s rumoured Puma paid her an incredible 1M for their recent collaboration.

(Fila, if you’re feeling generous and you wanna do the same, I’m waiting for the call)

Sportswear and athleisure is the perfect way to dress down without looking like you’ve just crawled out of bed for the first time in three days. Although judging by the look on my face in this shot – some would beg to differ! You can now get away with comfy over-sized shirts, ankle-forgiving flat trainers and cosy hoodies. Of course, you could have done this anyway before, but it no longer feels taboo to leave the house doing so. Track pants, heels and makeup just doesn’t seem like a juxtaposition anymore.

There have been a few casualties along the way though. New Balance came back in vogue in the UK after choosing to base their EU factory in England. That might not have been the best business decision considering we now live in a post-brexit world, but that was the least of NB’s worries. The Vice President of NB then went on to make a statement via Twitter that sounded very ‘pro Donald Trump’ to many customers, prompting a boycott and social media meltdown.

It’s fair to assume that these old names may not realise that business isn’t like the old days. Like Puma, you need the driving force of a top influencer and unlike NB you’re going to need to swerve the controversial political comments.

Regardless of what comes next, I’m excited to see what’s in store for women’s sportswear. Who knows, maybe some of these revived brands will knock off some of the big boys like Nike?

I guess only time will tell!

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  1. February 19, 2017 / 3:30 pm

    The thing is too that piece like these bring back so many memories too so people who would have worn them first time round will love them again. So alongside a whole new market to cater for they have to keep oldies happy too lol

  2. February 19, 2017 / 3:52 pm

    I like the fact that brands are realising that we still like the older styles, and think of us oldies x

  3. February 19, 2017 / 3:59 pm

    There is a definite sportswear influence to fashion at the moment x

  4. February 19, 2017 / 4:42 pm

    I love old school sports clothing brands; so retro these days!

  5. February 19, 2017 / 7:43 pm

    Gosh I remember owning some Fila trainers when I was younger and being devastated that my mum had bought them for me and not ADIDAS! I have seen loads of people wearing it recently though!

    Em T

  6. February 19, 2017 / 8:08 pm

    I love all of the sportswear that is around at the moment! I can’t believe these brands are making a come back, it reminds me of being at primary school!

  7. February 20, 2017 / 12:09 am

    I love that FILA is back in style! I recently found a few awesome FILA and Champion pieces at the thrift store for a steal!

  8. February 20, 2017 / 4:44 am

    I’m loving the sports luxe trend thats going round at the moment! I have recently bought lots of Ellesse pieces to wear in the gym xxx

  9. February 20, 2017 / 8:53 am

    I love the sports wear – it’s so comfy!!!
    Oh my gosh! I can’t believe they might have paid Kylie that amount of money- crazy!!!

  10. February 20, 2017 / 9:29 am

    I have to admit I do love this trend – and those trainers look fab x

  11. February 20, 2017 / 9:40 am

    I love to lounge around in sportswear, but I definitely can’t see myself walking around in the streets with it on – definitely not with heels! Forgotten about brands do have a tendency to come back around!

  12. February 20, 2017 / 10:47 am

    OMG they paid here 1M that’s incredible. Sports wear is so comfy and easy to wear. I like to wear it quite often although I confuses people as they a;ways think I’m on a power walk lol.

  13. February 20, 2017 / 10:56 am

    Oh wow I never thought I would see either Fila or Ellesse again to be honest x

  14. February 20, 2017 / 3:22 pm

    I think it all depends on demand, most people are snobs and want only wear what’s advertised on TV 🙁

  15. denajayne
    February 20, 2017 / 8:54 pm

    I used to live in Fila when I was younger, never thought it’d make a comeback! xo

  16. February 20, 2017 / 9:25 pm

    Nothing like timeless pieces which are durable and comfortable! 🙂

  17. February 21, 2017 / 7:21 am

    Yeah I’ve seen this around a lot and as a fitness blogger I just can’t get on board with it. It’s fine for ‘leisure’ but the stuff they make for actual training isn’t the best… that being said I could be wrong – that might of completely changed. LOVE those New Balance trainers though.

  18. February 21, 2017 / 9:20 am

    Wow 1 million? That is good money. I love my sportswear for keeping fit. Your trainers looks great.

    • Jess - Actual Philocalist
      February 22, 2017 / 9:42 am

      1 million! I couldn’t believe it myself. Imagine being able to licence your name out for that much money.

  19. February 21, 2017 / 8:15 pm

    Tell me they will bring Kappa back too…. then my teenage years are complete! x

    • Jess - Actual Philocalist
      February 22, 2017 / 9:47 am

      Omg Kappa! I remember having a second hand pair of black Kappa kicks. Now that name is a real blast from the past! Love it.

  20. February 22, 2017 / 8:36 am

    My mummy used to have an Ellesse shell suit back in the day which she loved!! 😉 funny to see these brands making a revival x