The BALLY Spring/Summer 2023 collection, the first designed by Rhuigi Villaseñor, is a cosmopolitan exploration of European luxury through a distinctly American lens. Swiss leather craftsmanship, the lynchpin of BALLY’s 171-year heritage, is applied to ready-to-wear and accessories for women and men with an innate sense of sophistication and humor in equal parts.
Reflecting on the ease of sportswear and its universal language — from Santa Monica to Sankt Moritz — Villaseñor approaches BALLY’s DNA as a leathergoods atelier with a lightness of hand, ushering in a new sensuality and glamour for the House. Bold and unapologetic, historical nods to the worlds of sports and cinema abound throughout a collection that walks on the wild side, marrying an elevated, youthful wardrobe with elements of ironic nostalgia. Daywear and eveningwear collide in a wardrobe that exudes the confidence of the well-traveled.
The season draws upon a pantheon of materiality: tiger print suiting in silk velvet, double-breasted tailoring in summer wools, and shantung silk pyjamas celebrate a soignée femininity in dialogue with a relaxed masculine attitude. Crafted in Villaseñor’s hometown of Los Angeles, engineered denim meets myriad expressions of BALLY leather craftsmanship, from butter-soft suede to polished calfskin, stretch nappa, and opulent metallics. Heirloom wardrobe pieces emerge in unexpected colors and combinations, from classic aviator jackets to louche tailored suits, trench coats, and safari-inspired separates.
Revolving around the House pillars of leather craftsmanship and timeless accessories, nods to the Swiss traditions of watchmaking and toy-making appear as chains and chokers, buckles and bag hardware. Conceived by Rhuigi Villaseñor, a new stylized figure-8 device of interlocking B’s inspired by the BALLY tradition of elastic-making becomes a striking emblem scaled up and down as a decorative flourish throughout, joining melted baroque hardware and geometric chains that embellish frame bags, soft pouches, hobos and tongue-in-cheek ‘take-away’ hardcase maroquinerie.
The BALLY footwear collection expands and evolves, embodying the season’s transatlantic spirit and playful details. From sculpted sandal heels and crystal mesh boots to embellished house slippers and archival Mary-Janes with a Cuban heel, Villaseñor injects a tangible new energy through Western details and worldly references. The result is a melting pot of radical luxury: a fresh conversation between the old world and the new.