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FILA is celebrating The Notorious B.I.G. with a new apparel and sneaker collection, inspired by the late rapper’s signature style and one of the seminal albums in hip-hop history.
The FILA x Biggie Collection is available on FILA.com today, and expands to select retailers on May 21st to coincide with what would have been the rapper’s 48th birthday. The six-piece range includes a T-shirt and visor straight from FILA’s archives, as well as a new sneaker style, with each piece offered in two colorways.
FILA says the collection was inspired by Biggie, and by vintage Brooklyn streetwear. The rapper himself was known to rock gear from the athletic brand, which got its roots in Italian sportswear before making moves on this side of the Atlantic in the late Eighties and early Nineties. Biggie famously took the stage at a show in Philadelphia in 1993 wearing a FILA T-shirt and matching visor; both of those are re-worked and re-issued as part of the new collaboration.
FILA says the new collection also pays tribute to Biggie’s debut album, Ready to Die, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in September. In addition to the visor and T-shirt (both $25) the collection includes a Ready to Die-inspired sneaker, dubbed the FILA Tennis 88 x Biggie ($90), itself an updated take on the FILA Original Tennis silhouette from the Nineties.
The new sneakers feature the rapper’s signature crown motif on the tongue, along with the iconic baby photo from the Ready to Die album cover on the sock liner. The unisex shoes are packaged in a custom shoebox with custom wrapping paper, both adorned with elements of the original album art.
FILA says it worked directly with the Christoper Wallace Estate to get permission for the project. It then partnered with the branding and licensing agency, Merch Traffic, which owns the rights to the use of Biggie’s image.
“We created this exclusive collection to honor a groundbreaking album, artist and pop culture icon who has left a lasting impact in the music world and beyond,” says Louis W. Colon III, VP of Heritage and Trend at FILA North America. “Partnering with the estate was key for this collaboration,” he stresses, adding that “Everyone involved is thrilled and excited about the collection as it honors Biggie’s legacy.”
To further honor the late rapper’s memory, FILA is donating a pair of children’s sneakers to the Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation, for every collaboration sneaker sold. FILA says the shoes will be distributed to schools and summer camps in Bedford-Stuyvesant, where Biggie was born and raised.
The FILA x Biggie Collection drops today, exclusively on FILA.com. The collection will expand to select retailers on May 21st.