Bally Marks 170th Anniversary, Introduces Eco-Friendly Products

Luisa Zargani
·3 min read

MILAN — “Over 170 years, Bally has faced the good and the bad times, but it always had the capacity to adapt, evolve and be relevant,” its chief executive officer Nicolas Girotto said ahead of the company’s presentation of the fall 2021 collection during Milan Fashion Week.

The Switzerland-based company is marking its 170th anniversary by paying tribute to its artisans, and its coed collection is an “ode to the Alpine heritage,” said Girotto.

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Consistency, an ongoing focus on quality, craft and timeless silhouettes contribute to Bally’s longevity, which “speaks well to the modern luxury consumer” as it goes arm-in-arm with sustainability, he contended. A signatory of the Fashion Pact, the company has increasingly invested in protecting the environment, establishing the Bally Peak Outlook Foundation last year to help preserve mountains around the world, and launching a collection of eco-friendly bags and accessories for spring 2021.

For fall, Bally raised the bar on eco-friendly materials, unveiling jersey pants in a natural pomegranate dye, for example, or the Cliff bags for men in vegetable-tanned leather, free of synthetic finishing. Conscious sourcing also replaces polyvinyl chloride with thermoplastic polyurethane and regenerated leather. All plastic elements are 100 percent recycled.

Girotto described Bally’s artisans as “architects of leather,” who treat the material as a fabric. An example in the collection included a delicate leather vest in black with pleats, worn over a silk dress in black and deep moss with viscose-silk sleeves and leather trim details. A lambskin leather wrap dress was presented in a heritage red inspired by the Andean landscape, referencing historical mountain expeditions that Bally helped sponsor in the early 20th century. The color palette hinged on warm, earthy tones that included moss, stone, ebony and clay. A standout was a patchwork lambskin coat in different shades of brown.

For the anniversary, Bally reinterpreted the Bally Stripe, streamlined through an embossing technique, while the 1851 symmetric hardware ran across footwear and accessories.

Bally also introduced a celebratory monogram created especially for the anniversary by Offshore, a Swiss graphic studio, featuring the signature B-Chain interlocked and reminiscent of shoelaces as a creative nod to Bally’s roots as a shoemaker.

While not aiming to produce technical shoes, Bally offered hiking and curling boots. Leather platform heels with oversized 1851 hardware were presented in dark, rich tones.

A Cabana bucket bag showed monogram motifs and supersized, ultra-soft leather totes carried embossed logos. Graphic crossbody mini bags and shoulder bags featured the bombé Bally Stripe inspired details. There were also saddle bags with woven finishes and contrast stitching.

Girotto was proud to say Bally maintained its commitment to the Bally Peak Outlook project, aimed at preserving not only the mountains but also their communities — even during 2020 and through the pandemic, revealing that 4.5 tons of waste had been removed in two years. “We succeeded in continuing to support the Sherpa community, strongly impacted last year, and despite the adverse conditions,” said Girotto.

The Bally Peak Outlook Foundation has pledged to sponsor critical clean-ups of Mount Everest and seven 8,000-meter peaks in the Himalayan region by 2022, working with the local Sherpa communities. Other mountaineering organizations Bally linked with for clean-up expeditions included the Japanese Fuji Club.

Bally has laid out its Sustainability Roadmap in 2020, based on four pillars: transparency, quality, collaboration and progress. By 2050, the company aims to have net-zero carbon emissions.

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