LONDON — Bally will launch a Tokyo flagship — its largest store worldwide — in Ginza this week, part of the brand’s global rollout plan that foresees 15 stores opening over the next 12 months.
“It took us 24 months to craft the strategy of where we are today,” said chief executive officer Frédéric de Narp. “We have the management team in place now, the right design direction, and finally we’ve refined the Bally store concept. We’ve already opened Los Angeles in February, and now Tokyo with the Ginza flagship, which is our largest store in the company to date.”
The 8,640-square-foot store will span two floors, and carry men’s and women’s apparel and accessories. The ground floor will house the men’s and women’s accessories and ready-to-wear collections. It will also feature the gentleman’s corner offering services such as “Made to Order,” “Made to Color” and shoe care services. The second floor will house the brand’s “Untold Part 1: 1851-1951” exhibition, with pieces from the Bally archives, until May 8. It will then be used as a space to host VIPs and events.
With 24 stores already in Japan, de Narp said he’s noticed the influx of Chinese tourists over the last year, which has had a positive impact on business. “There is good brand awareness, but this location and the new store will certainly take the brand to a new level as we are at the gate of Ginza, where 140,000 pass by each day,” he said. “We have seen 1,000-plus people a day pass through the doors since we opened.”
As for the store’s design, de Narp said the interior has similarities with the New Bond Street and Los Angeles flagships. “But Ginza has an incredible 50-meter [49 foot] aluminum facade that makes it unique.
“We are not carrying exclusive products, but decided to celebrate the launch with an exhibition of the Bally archives, which have left Switzerland for the first time ever. Visitors will be able to see 100 years of Bally’s history and 100 shoe designs. Many people still don’t know about the brand’s rich heritage. This exhibition really emphasizes the craftsmanship, modernity and creativity of the brand — the most important luxury shoemaker. Through the exhibition you see and understand the evolution of society through Bally shoe designs over five different periods of time,” the ceo said.