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The Brand Deep Dive - This is a compilation of all my background research and data, which would eventually inform all of my design and branding decisions.
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The Premise - The thesis of this exploration would center about the notion of Alter Egos within professional and aspiring athletes.
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The Mask and The Man - What does it mean to "be" an athlete? That was the question that I set out to answer first, and what implications come with that title?
I found parallels between athletes and African mask dancers. Learning from one informed the other beautifully.
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The Athlete as Warrior - A part of my investigation took me into some of the world's older cultures. I was looking for their equivalent to our modern day athletes: SuperHumans. I learned from how different cultures exalted and respected their warriors.
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Fila - After understanding the direction I wanted to take with this brand exploration, I began addressing Fila itself--to find areas of expansion, strength and weakness.
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SWOT Analysis - The SWOT Analysis I would conduct was based on research into how the brand is perceived by the public, how the brand the showcases its strengths and its ability to grow.
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Volaro - Volaro, a brand dedicated to creating and empowering fencers, would be the result of my exploration. It would be positioned as a brand energizer for FILA.
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The First Move - Sponsorship would be FILA's most effective mode of entry into the arena of Fencing.
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The Brand Advantage - I wanted to highlight the absence of other brands from the sport of Fencing, and FILA's opportunity to become a pioneer within the sport.
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Contextual Research - To make the brand relevant to a state of mind and not a genre of products and to construct an effective brand strategy, I interviewed and observed multiple athletes from solitary sports. The most eye-opening interviews are documented here.
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The Interviews - I wanted to know if there was a moment or an action that signified that one had changed from being an "ordinary" person and had become their "Athletic Self"?
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The Interviews - I wanted to know if there was a moment or an action that signified that one had changed from being an "ordinary" person and had become their "Athletic Self"?
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The Interviews - I wanted to know if there was a moment or an action that signified that one had changed from being an "ordinary" person and had become their "Athletic Self"?
View PDF
The Interviews - I wanted to know if there was a moment or an action that signified that one had changed from being an "ordinary" person and had become their "Athletic Self"?
View PDF
The Interviews - I wanted to know if there was a moment or an action that signified that one had changed from being an "ordinary" person and had become their "Athletic Self"?
View PDF
The Results of the interviews - Using the data from the interviews as my guide, I set out to design a "talisman" or that object which would aid in transforming individuals--in the same way that African masks transform their dancers.
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The Design Realized
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Design Cues - My design cues would come from African Masks. I enjoyed the parallel between the African mask and the Fencer's Mask--both psychological and cultural.
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Inspirations - I would look to contemporary high fashion; this would help me inject the sport of fencing and the brand with much needed relevance.
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Trend Analysis - To ground the brand in reality, I conducted trend research in color, material, pattern, travel and music. You can never be too informed.
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The Brand's Structure - The Volaro brand would be comprised of a product tier system. This system would allow athletes to progress through the brand in pursuit of becoming more potent fencers.
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Volaro by FILA
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FILA Brand Expansion