What Happened: After winning big as the official sportswear partner of the Winter Olympics, ANTA is hoping to strike gold again: this time, in the hospitality industry. The Chinese sportswear giant has officially announced plans to build the world’s first FILA-branded hotel, dubbed FILA House, in Shanghai, in partnership with the Hyatt Group. Expected to open in 2024, the building will be part of ANTA’s new headquarters in the city’s West Hongqiao Business District, which will also see the development of an office, shops, and food and beverage outlets.
The Jing Take: While this marks FILA’s first step into the lifestyle hotel space, high fashion brands have been offering luxury accomodations for years. In 2000, Versace opened the doors of Palazzo Versace on the Gold Coast, bringing together the Italian house’s bespoke furnishings and extraordinary service to create the “world’s first fashion-inspired hotel,” according to its site. Bulgari, Armani, Ralph Lauren, and Fendi later followed suit, while other high-end players like Dior and Diane Von Furstenberg have opted instead to design suites or spas in collaboration with existing hotels.
For FILA, this move presents an opportunity to share its brand story with consumers beyond the conventional brick-and-mortar store setting. With FILA House falling under the JdV by Hyatt brand, which operates a “collection of design-driven boutique hotels for the spirited, the young at heart,” the new property will likely appeal to China’s young travelers and streetwear lovers. At the same time, it could help FILA eventually segue into other product categories, from furniture to more fitness equipment offerings.
But will Chinese consumers flock to the new site? Riding the experiential retail trend in China, Shanghai has become a particularly fierce battleground for luxury flagships and pop-ups. Yet FILA should not be underestimated: it was named the fastest growing brand by Brand Fiance’s Apparel 50 2021 ranking, with a 68 percent increase in brand value to $2.7 billion. In the six months to June 2021, it strengthened its image as a high-end fashion sports brand through crossovers with Phillip Lim, Lanvin, and Maison Mihara Yasuhiro, growing revenue by 51.4 percent to $1.7 billion. As such, the hotel can help FILA continue appealing to this segment of high-end consumers and bring its youthful, ‘90s aesthetic to life in new ways.
The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.