The cult label’s founder Sofia Prantera referenced the tragic tale of Theseus and the Minotaur

FILA might have been founded well over 100 years ago in a sleepy region in Northern Italy, but the behemoth sportswear label remains ahead of the game when it comes to innovation. Synonymous with subculture and sweaty, pulsating dancefloors through the 70s and 80s, as well as hip hop in the 90s, fast forward to 2022 and the brand is finding a whole new generation of fans. 

Its forward-thinking collaborations are a huge strength and something that keeps this new guard coming back for more: in 2020, while the world was still deep in varying degrees of lockdown, FILA somehow managed to link up with Glenn Martens of Y/Project to turn out a wildly brilliant collection that took its classic silhouettes and motifs, and twisted them on their head.

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Now, comes a brand new partnership, that sees FILA get up close and personal with cult London label Aries and its boundary-breaking leader Sofia Prantera. Fusing pop culture, classic history, and throwing in a touch of mysticism (who can forget its 2019 project centring around the symbolism and mythology surrounding Stonehenge?), Prantera’s ‘No Problemo’ tees and pastel tie-dyed tracksuits are a go-to among fashion fans and skaters alike. 

As ever, Prantera used her collab with FILA to delve deeper into mythology, as she looked to the story of Theseus and the Minotaur for inspiration for the ready-to-wear offering. In a short film directed by longtime collaborator David Sims, the designer details the grim goings-on that led Theseus’ tale to become lore. After killing the minotaur, “Theseus forgot to change the black sails on his ship at his return,” she explains. “His father Egeo, the king, thought he was dead, and threw himself off a cliff.”

The collection itself is made up of a blend of the staples both Aries and FILA are renowned for: soft, oversized hoodies, relaxed sweatpants yes, but also second-skin dresses emblazoned with dual-branding and motifs. Grecian keys appear across zip-down minis, and swimwear also makes an appearance, with a simple black asymmetric body evoking the robes worn by the Greek gods. Finishing things off are a series of caps, clutches, and crossbody bags. 

It takes its name, Vela Nera, meaning ‘black sail’ from Theseus’ odyssey, while nodding to a sailing jacket created for Giovanni Soldini in 1996. “Aries 4 FILA is a fusion of the respective DNAs that forms a new one, with a stress on Italian-ness in the classical references and attention to detail,” Prantera adds. Check it out for yourself in the gallery above, watch the film for more details, and head here to shop.