Bally is shifting its focus to footwear and accessories as it resizes itself for future growth and looks for a new owner after the current one, JAB Holding, announced it was stepping away from the fashion and luxury arena.
As part of the changes, Bally has moved its offices and showrooms from London to Milan in order to be closer to the brand’s Swiss hub, and it presented the spring 2018 collection in its new headquarters on Viale Piave where, until recently, Gucci staged its shows.
The space may still be under construction, but that didn’t stand in the way of Bally, which shipped in original fixtures from London — a Sixties kitchen, a boiler on the wall and a messy bedroom with Seventies newspaper and magazine clippings on the walls.
To create a wardrobe for the imaginary women dwelling in such an apartment, Bally’s design collective hunted around the archive, re-creating vintage sneaker designs from the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties. There was the flat, two-tone Super Smash tennis shoe from 1965, the 1974 denim trainer and the pumped-up 1988 Galaxy from the golden age of aerobics — all of them fresh and of-the-moment. Napa slouch boots and T-bar peep-toe sandals with gold chain details both had a cool Seventies feel, as did the Suzy leather bags with their chain handles and contrasting lightning bolt details.
Clothing was a mix of sport and luxe, including soft, lightweight leather or silk poplin tracksuits, silk pajamas with a repeating B logo and a fabulous pink powder puff of a coat done in shaved beaver. The clothes weren’t really the point here — and they represent a small fraction of sales. It’s the accessories — sporty and sassy — that will power Bally forward.