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ATP world tour star develops new men's line with Fila

Aug '09
In January 2009, Fila and James Blake entered into a product collaboration to develop a co-branded apparel, footwear and accessories collection with a trademark to be designed by James. Fila's design team and James joined forces to create a collection that was inspired by James, his life and interests and that incorporates the heritage of the Fila brand with a contemporary twist inspired by Blake's signature style.

James spent several months searching for the name for the brand. In the end, he selected Thomas Reynolds, the first and middle name of his father. James often refers to his father as a superhero, so it was not surprising that his name was chosen for the brand. After months of working with Fila's design team, Fila and James Blake will launch Thomas Reynolds at the 2009 US Open in New York.

According to Blake, “I wanted to create a line with Fila because I have learned a lot about tennis fashion throughout my career. I felt that I could create a line that is functional and stylish both on and off the court. Collaborating with Fila and their long history in tennis and sportswear made sense. It was the perfect fit!”

James will debut the fall 2009 collection during his first match at the US Open. The collection is branded with the Thomas Reynolds R-dot logo and the linear Fila logo. The fall styles incorporate a campanula, peacoat (navy) and white color combination. Campanula is inspired by James' love of collegiate basketball and his favorite team from North Carolina. James wanted the line to include classic tennis looks. The fall collection consists of two polos (raglan sleeve and open placket), crew neck shirts (coolmax pique and tencel), shorts and warm-up. The line has a distinct nod to Fila's tennis heritage with pinstripe detailing on one of the crew neck shirts, open placket and reversible collar on the polo, and athletic taping on the shoulder of the raglan polo. The open placket polo and solid crew neck incorporate the sustainable fabric, tencel. The warm up is a more refined fleece and the inside of the hooded jacket reverses from navy to campanula. The price points of the collection range from $45 - $65.

“I wanted the line to be more transitional,” said Blake, “and include styles that can be worn on-court, yet are stylish enough to wear for a night out.”

Fila's Chairman Gene Yoon said, “Fila is proud to have the opportunity to develop a business venture with a top American tennis player whose personal style aligns so well with the Fila brand.”

Fila and James Blake will partner with Lord & Taylor and Tennis magazine to launch the collection just before the US Open. James will greet fans and sign autographs in the Thomas Reynolds concept shop at Lord & Taylor on Fifth Avenue on Thursday, August 27th at 6pm. The VIP launch event to unveil the line will feature DJ Sky Nellor and be held the same evening on the 11th floor Terrace at Lord & Taylor.

The Thomas Reynolds launch includes a fully integrated marketing and public relations program. The multi-channel marketing program integrates print and online advertising, an online contest, retail promotions, athlete appearances and Thomas Reynolds concept shops.

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