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These collabs prove the sportswear revival is bigger than ever

And how nostalgia played a role in their return

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Weekly updates

We’ve known for years that the fashion industry is cyclical, but lately it feels like the time it takes for the cycle to start over has shrunk. The period between something falling out of fashion and returning to favour feels shorter and shorter. It’s as if our addiction to nostalgia has forced the gap to close. Enjoying a moment in the spotlight thanks to this trend are sportswear brands. Labels, that some would say, have their best days behind them are making a play for modern relevance. But they’re not doing it alone—there are already established brands helping them, as the collaborations below prove.

01. FILA x Urban Outfitters Old School Basketball

Fila, the now South Korean owned sporting goods company, saw major popularity in the ’80s and ’90s following an endorsement by tennis star Björn Borg in the ’70s. It was their innovative use of bold, vibrant colours coupled with an elegant simplicity that made Fila stand out, and continues to do so now.

Fila’s latest collaboration with Urban Outfitters is a nostalgic collection that embodies classic ’90s sports aesthetics and American street basketball style. An era of style defined by boldness and bagginess, Fila have remade a collection for today whilst keeping the ’90s aesthetic we seem to not be able to get enough of.

The men’s colour-blocked track jacket is one of this collection’s most coveted pieces, made of lightweight nylon featuring a stand-up collar and slip pockets at the waist the jacket is reminiscent of the Fila fashion rocked by Big Daddy Kane back in the day.

The accompanying video by Fila and Urban Outfitters stars models Dilone and Alton Mason Jr. Featuring the dynamic duo having a dance (choreographed by Alton Mason of course) to GoldLink’s “Kokamoe Freestyle”.

Shop the collection here and check out the video below.

02. MOVE x Ellesse Capsule Collection

The MOVE x Ellesse “Move forward” capsule collection sees two Italian brands come together to create a vibrant, athletic range of clothing.The entire concept for the collection is based off the reworking of the classic Ellesse training shoe, the LS360. 

The retro runner was remixed with a MOVE twist, with a custom MOVE label on the tab and an amalgamation of the official colours of each brand making up the shoe colourway—yellow, red, and navy with white. Made of technical mesh, suede, and gum, these sneakers inspired the remainder of the collection. Other than the kicks, also included in this limited edition drop is a selection of bold tees, hoodies (including one based off a vintage ’80s Ellesse jacket), two-tone sweaters and an anorak featuring a quarter zip and mesh lining.

Ellesse is often recognised as one of the first ever brands to feature their company logo on the outside of the clothing, something we consider second-nature for brands these days. Ellesse continues to allow their logo prime position on their apparel, and together with MOVE have created a classically Italian sportswear range that, if history is anything to go by, will be sure to stand the test of time.

Shop the collection here.

03. Marcelo Burlon County of Milan x Kappa

Marcelo Burlon’s moniker, County of Milan allows him to operate within the worlds of fashion, music, and nightlife. And so in the melting pot that is Marcelo Burlon’s body of work comes a somewhat unanticipated collaboration. The County of Milan’s high-end, classically European streetwear is combined with the highly recognisable Kappa athletic aesthetic to create a range of clothing which toes the line between high-end clothing and street sportswear.

First seen at County of Milan’s 2017 fall/winter runway show the collection is made up of tees, tracksuits, and sweatshirts. Each item is available in either red, black, or army green, with Kappa and County of Milan branding on each piece. The Kappa logo is emblazoned on top of the County of Milan logo, creating an almost collaborative symbol too.

Marlon Burlon, in an interview with Hypebeast was asked if this crossover is a lasting influence of passing trend and he responded “I’m not a psychic, but for a while, sportswear and fashion speak the same languages, or actually, fashion speaks the language of sportswear, so I think it became way bigger than a trend or seasonal thing.”

The collection is priced between 162 and 311 euros and is available for pre-order here.

04. Bergdorf Goodman x KITH

KITH is the exception on this list. While it’s not a label from the past or one fallen from favour it’s recent collaboration with Bergdorf’s is a great example or sportswear’s return to favour.

Bergdorf Goodman is a luxury goods department store on Fifth Avenue in NYC that was founded back in 1899 and still retains that old-world opulence. KITH is a contemporary lifestyle brand and ever-evolving retail establishment in its youth, established in 2011 by the influential Ronnie Fieg.

Although companies that appear to be polar opposites, KITH and Bergdorf Goodman marry together surprisingly well, redefining luxury for the contemporary consumer. Ronnie Fieg said of the collection, “A hoodie can be luxury if executed properly. Similar to last year, we wanted to create wearable pieces with quality that warrants bearing the Bergdorf Goodman logo.”

The collections garments are made from custom milled jacquard fabric, available in a trio of colours, all associated with class—navy, burgundy, and forest green—with metallic gold embellishments. The capsule is comprised of full-length zip hoodies, a quarter zip pullovers, tees, shorts, track pants, and caps. The pieces are co-branded which marks this as the second time in its long history that Bergdorf’s logo has appeared on the outer of a garment.

Although the collection is pretty unreal and would certainly go down well with the street-wear obsessed, it is unlikely to be anywhere near a reasonable price, given the Bergdorf Goodman label.

Check out the lookbook here and get read for the the drop on May 19.

05. Fiorucci Return

Ok technically not a collab, but Fiorucci is the brand we need to return this year. It has been an all too long hiatus since our favourite flashy Italian brand graced the fashion world with it’s ostentatious ideas and adverts. This year marks fifty years since Elio Fiorucci founded the iconic label and so we are lucky enough to get a taste of what we are missing.

Janie and Stephen Schaffer took over the company in 2015, and have since been teasing its return on a new Instagram account and relaunched website that features the incredible ads that Fiorucci was so known for. It officially relaunched at Barney’s New York earlier this year with a capsule collection and was quickly followed by a pop-up at Selfridges in London. September is when Fiorucci show us what they’re really made of, with a 4,000-square-ft store opening in Soho, complete of course with a basement club.

This won’t be the first time people have gotten down at a Fiorucci store because the Fiorucci Store on Lexington Avenue was where a 16-year-old Madonna played her first gig. Back in the late ’70s, this Fiorucci store was lovingly referred to as the “daytime Studio 54” due to the many famous faces who visited. Andy Warhol ran his office out of the NYC Fiorucci store for a while, and Kieth Haring was given the job of painting the walls in the Milan store. The brand became almost synonymous with disco with high waisted jeans (and the first elasticised jeans) and shiny platforms on the shelves and sex on the advertisements. In the world of fashion, brands appear to be taking themselves more and more seriously as time goes by, Fiorucci retains its fun attitude, offering a colourful selection of garments that embody the carefree vibes of the disco era.