At a time when humanity seems increasingly at odds with the natural world, Bally is here to remind us otherwise with the launch of its Spring 2021 collection, Elemental Balance.
From supplying Swiss expedition teams with custom footwear to scale Mount Everest as early as 1947 to designing eco-friendly capsules in 2020 to fund mountain conservation, the Swiss fashion house continues to draw on its Alpine origins for inspiration. Little wonder too as the artistic direction sensuously highlights Bally’s longstanding ties to the outdoors.
In its latest collection, Bally continues to establish its footing as an “architect of leather” with skillfully crafted ready-to-wear, shoes, and accessories. Spring 2021 dynamically explores the symbiotic relationship between humans and the environment. The new line features micro-woven leathers, raw raffias, twill cotton, and finely interlaced straw — an ode to natural materials and the elements recalling fiery tones, watery hues, and metal accents.
With versatility and style in mind, heels are accessorized with wraparound leather ankle fringes. Similarly, boots, sandals, and leather totes boast latticed patterns in a show of craftsmanship applying a unique laser-cutting technique. Ready-to-wear items demonstrate the artful execution of leather as a fabric, sartorially sewn into supple tailored looks.
In menswear, silk pajama bottoms pair nicely with double-breasted leather coats (an interesting take on business on the top, quarantine on the bottom), while luxe leather jackets complement light denim and patterned pine motifs. Womenswear also remains elegant and earthly, with highlights including A-line skirts, mariner-style knitwear, and fluid silk dresses adorned with leather trim.
As Bally describes: “Our Spring 2021 collection further demonstrates that tradition does not live in opposition to innovation, but alongside it, autonomous and free.” True to its word, the 170-year-old company is melding tradition and innovation through its digital-first strategy, having presented the collection globally via a dedicated microsite, Bally Studio, in September, ahead of the campaign launch last month.
In its film, “Daydream,” Bally depicts a “dreamlike moment lost in nature,” as a stylish, youthful group weaves through fields and treads on rugged earth. Directed by Antonio Monfreda and featuring Chinese-French model Estelle Chen, the video not only deepens Bally’s emotional connections with consumers but, more tellingly, documents its accelerating shift toward the virtual realm.
This pivot was already evident in the launch of Bally’s Virtual Showroom in July 2020. This adapted its selling strategy in the face of the global pandemic and followed the redesign of Bally.com last February as well as investment in social media and e-commerce platforms — both growing points of reference for the Chinese customer.
Building on this digital momentum, Bally also expanded its influencer relationships, particularly in the house’s largest market. As CEO Nicolas Girotto told Jing Daily earlier this year, “Bally’s celebrity strategy is rooted in working with advocates who align with our brand values and help us promote an authentic message to their large multi-channel audiences.”
Thanks to the editorial accreditations achieved by the local team, we’ve seen Bally’s style and energy well decoded by a contingent of Chinese idols and Gen Z artists who constantly deliver value to their followers through trend references that are authentic and relevant. Such efforts help build a relationship with the younger generation and enable a constant and consistent social conversation that has contributed to some of the brand’s highest engagements.
By focusing on storytelling around its outdoor heritage and finding platforms and KOLs that align with its brand image, it has authentically enlarged its footprint, too. Essentially, Bally celebrates tradition by all the while, looking to the future.