Photos by Myles Loftin.

nyc creatives on the enduring legacy of fila

The Italian brand brought fashion and sport together for its "Tennis in Technicolor" event in Brooklyn.

by Created With FILA
29 August 2019, 7:43pm

Photos by Myles Loftin.

Pierluigi Rolando knew the value of taking a risk. As FILA's original creative director, he changed tennis forever with his disruptive designs. His provocative “White Line” collection, released in 1973, revolutionized the way tennis players dressed. The red, white, and navy sportswear, brought color to the court for the first-time ever—a space that had been reserved for traditional all-white apparel.

Ronaldo’s innovative designs, which seamlessly brought together fashion and sport, went onto influence generations of athletes both on and off the court, and helped to cement FILA as the iconic sportstyle brand it is today.

FILA hosted a “Tennis in Technicolor” event in Brooklyn to honor the designer’s game-changing career and celebrate the disruptive side of the sport. To find out how Ronaldo’s legacy still lives on today, we asked creatives Lyn Hersh and Jeremy O. Harris about their love for the Italian brand and the importance of being bold.


Lyn Hersh, Creative, New York, NY

How would you describe your personal style?
I love sporty, but I also love girly. I am a tennis player, so I wear tennis skirts like all the time. I would say I am a girly tomboy.

How long have you been playing tennis?
My family has played my entire life. I started when I was five years old and took lessons my whole life. I was varsity all four years of high school and I was ranked in Southern California. I pretty much stopped playing when I moved here.

What are some of your earliest memories of wearing FILA?
It’s actually funny, because my mom has a lot of my tennis clothes still. I brought home a FILA skirt that was pretty much the same one I used to wear when I was a ball girl at tournaments in California. I have worn FILA pretty much my whole life, and my dad has too.


How does it fit into your style now?
I still like to dress sporty even though I am not playing tennis all the time.

What do you like about FILA?
There is just something so nostalgic about it. It has been around for so long. It is associated with so many iconic athletes. My dad introducing it to us when we were kids, it just instilled a love for it. It just feels like me.

Pierluigi Rolando was all about being bold and disruptive, how does that apply to you?
Especially with tennis, there are players who push the boundaries with style. Those are always the ones I looked up to. This collection being super colorful, just reminds me of those players I grew up loving.


Jeremy O. Harris, Playwright, New York, NY

How would you describe your personal style?
I think having the sort of hair I have has allowed me to have a fluidity that transcends any specific decade. But the decade I feel most comfortable embodying in my style is the 1970s. I am sort of a 70s party boy.

What are some of your earliest memories of wearing FILA?
Every little boy in Virginia gets a pair of FILA sneakers. I was probably like three years old when I got my first pair.

How does it fit into your style now?
The chunky FILA sneakers have become a staple in my wardrobe over the past year and a half.

What role does your style play in your life?
I was in the style section as a playwright with style, before I was in the theater section as a playwright that wrote plays. I think my style is how people got to know me before they got to know my work.

What do you think attracted people to your look?
The fact that my style is some what irreverent and idiosyncratic, which my plays are too.

What do you like about tennis style?
When you think about FILA, one of the hottest things that they ever did was collaborate with Bjorn Borg. He has such a style of effortless masculinity. I think that embodiment is a cool thing to aspire to.


Do you play tennis?
I have and I am very bad.

What do you like about this collection?
I like the embrace of the red, white, and blue. Although that is so weighted right now, there is something that is so classic. The understanding of where we come from and how we can orient that in new ways is so much more exciting to me than a reification of where we have been.

Pierluigi Rolando was all about being bold and disruptive, how does that apply to you?
In my work as a playwright I am always looking at classic forms and how I can utilize the bare structures of those forms for new purposes. I will take a classic form and look at it from different angles and reform it to do something new and to say something new. I think that’s what FILA is doing with this collection.

This article was created in partnership with FILA.