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Monday, March 20, 2023

Bally’s Rhuigi Villaseñor presents the first capsule for the Swiss brand – WWD

MILAN — From the Alps to the Far West.

After presenting his first ready-to-wear collection for Bally in Milan in September, creative director Rhuigi Villaseñor will launch his first capsule collection for the brand in mid-November.

Based on Bally’s famous curly boot, the capsule offers options from transitional footwear to high-season winter footwear, fusing western details with traditional mountaineering motifs using cashmere, shearling and suede.

The sport of curling arrived in Switzerland, Bally’s homeland, in the late 19th century, brought by the Scots, whose tradition in the sport dates back a century earlier.

Bally’s first curling boot was made in 1956 as part of its sponsorship of the Swiss Olympic team at that year’s Winter Olympics in Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Italian Dolomites.

“I had a lot of fun imagining a lifestyle capsule around Bally’s iconic curling shoe,” said Villaseñor. “I wanted to put an unexpected spin on it by combining western cowboy vibes with an alpine spirit that is both glamorous and laid-back. I hope that the capsule will resonate with Bally’s existing customer and attract a new audience. Introduce them to a sport they may not have known, while looking good learning.”

Villaseñor, a native of Los Angeles, California, was appointed to the lead creative position in January. He replaced Pablo Coppola, who left Bally in 2017 after three years, the last to hold this role.

An image from Bally’s curling campaign


Ahead of his spring 2023 show, Villaseñor said he was adding a Californian vibe to the Swiss brand and this capsule also reflects this hybrid concept by combining Swiss-inspired varsity prints and embroidery with Bally’s archive graphics, fur-trimmed denim sheepskin and quilted western outerwear. .

Designs for men and women include a new curling uniform of sheer roll-neck sweaters and luxurious jogging pants, cashmere hoodies, sweater vests and leg warmers.

The palette ranges from earthy autumn tones to icy pastels.

Bally’s kinky boot comes in different variations, extended as thigh-high boots or lower as shearling flip-flops; sewn with western motifs reminiscent of cowboy boots, or padded and laced up like a hybrid curly snow boot.

The focus is also on functionality, as the designer used waterproof nubuck and rubberized leather, along with the technologically advanced Arctic Grip sole.

An image from Bally’s curling campaign


Villaseñor has also developed a line of playful accessories that includes a shearling cowboy hat and a baseball cap in soft wool and suede. There are soft jacquard blankets with leather details, pom-pom hats and “Switzerland team” football scarves.

The collection will launch in mid-November in select Bally boutiques around the world, including New York and Zurich, Switzerland, and in multi-brand stores including Kith, The Webster and Selfridges. The company will open dedicated pop-up stores in alpine destinations, including St. Moritz and Verbier, Switzerland, and Aspen, Colorado.

A short film, titled “Curl Curl Baby”, will be released with the collection, which was filmed in St. Moritz.

For spring, Villaseñor introduced a new logo, inspired by a circa 1930 photograph of a boutique in France designed by architect Robert Mallet-Stevens. The writing presented a sans serif treatment, at that time quite futuristic.

The designer is also the founder, CEO and creative director of the Rhude brand, which includes ready-to-wear and accessories, and lifestyle partnerships including homeware and automobiles, launched in 2015.

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