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I have fallen in love boys and girls…. with the newest pair of Fila Disruptor sneakers. Do your eyes also start to glaze as soon as we start talking about heavenly cloud-white 90s style sneakers? I simply can’t resist those vintage styles, which is what brings me to this specific questions: how do these once-forgotten brands come back to life? The Italian-born athleisure company is not exactly new, it was founded in 1911, but how has it suddenly caught my eyes again after years of not caring about the brand? Let’s investigate, should we?

Whilst we’re on the topic, have you seen Burberry’s new branding strategy? The British heritage brand has taken a (very) bold decision to rebrand their look by modernizing their well-known logo and font. This could be for a couple of reasons but since we’re talking about brands making a come-back, we thought this could be the perfect time to give you an insight on branding marketing. Marketing directors usually make these decisions for a few reasons; to either attract new crowds, to reposition themselves in a booming or flopping market either due to financial difficulties or new CEOs or to simply update their image.

But enough about Burberry, who we already know has a very clear position in the fashion market as the leader of British heritage; we’re going to be looking at all those nostalgic sportswear brands that are enjoying (and rightly so) a renaissance in both our feet and the streets.

It’s no secret that history often comes back around when it comes to fashion (for better or for worse, if you ask me) but brands are highly benefiting from these comebacks. The most popular brands at the moment, that have not been as lucky for the past 10 years or so, are: Reebok, Ellesse and Champion, who all have a strong sports heritage behind them, and brands like Fila which I have mentioned above, which is closely associated with our childhood icons such as Tupac and Grant Hill.

Unlike Champion, Fila never technically disappeared from our radar (especially in sportswear) but the brand has recently made a comeback to focus on the “90s nostalgia” with trendy sneakers which have taken over Urban Outfitters and been spotted on Kourtney Kardashian’s feet. So at this point, we could say that Fila has not changed its branding at all, and is happily using its 90s time of fame to make a (strong) statement. Industry leaders such as Nike and Adidas are tough brands to go against but these once-neglected brands are enjoying a huge resurgence in popularity, mostly thanks to a new spot in the youth culture.

“Sportswear brands are embedded in streetwear culture, of which we’ve seen the rise and rise of at the moment. It’s tied into the resurgence of 1990s fashion trends, which are propelling what we wore in our youth in new directions. We’ve also seen big grime artists and hip-hop stars adopting these loud and proud logos. Heritage sportswear brands are ticking so many boxes.” Says Amy Rycroft, head of menswear at Urban Outfitters, which stocks Fila, Kappa, Champion and Ellesse.

Reebok, on the other hand, was founded in 1958 in England believe it or not. The brand was super popular in the 80s and early 90s, and was bought by Adidas in 2005. Similarly to Fila, the brand is using its iconic heritage-inspired sneakers and apparels to create their campaign with new trending models such as Gigi Hadid.

But although we’re mostly looking at fashion brands here, it’s clear that huge companies that had their time of fame in our early childhood, are back on high demand. Look at Polaroid for example. I still remember my mom being very surprised as I started taking polaroids around the house just a few years ago,  she couldn’t understand how after years of using my iPhone and digital cameras, I had made my way back to printed photos. This idea of nostalgia and young adults wanting to feel closer to their childhood is highly trending at the moment, and heritage brands are bringing back this sense of comfort and familiarity which is without a doubt one of the reasons for their popularity.

“Authenticity is the key,” stresses Ellesse brand director Marc Greene.

But another way companies, in particular heydays athletic clothing companies, have made a comeback in trends is mainly by associating themselves with celebrities, or should we say, the Kardashian-West family. Champion, a brand that used to be more popular with budget-conscious parents, is now often seen on Kylie’s Instagram for example. Many of these dormant brands made a comeback at the right time, which is again, not a new concept in fashion. But as much as people love heritage brands, they do want to see innovation and change, which brings us back to Burberry’s rebranding concept! So these brands have to stay true to their aesthetics, as well as making sure they come up with new designs, and ideas. Tough industries isn’t it?

All we can say at this point is that it’s: back to the 90s! And we’re loving it, especially as 90s kids.


Featured image by Unsplash and article source from Drapers Online

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