Art & Culture

Bally - landmark origin

Bally is one of the most successful Swiss brands. In the face of worldwide success, however, one's own origin may be forgotten. This was the fate of the fashion label, which had long been very popular abroad. Now Bally wants to remember his heritage again. At the same time, the artistic avant-garde of Switzerland should help, specifically: students of the Zurich University of the Arts.
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Take 24 students from the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) in the fields of trends & identity and visual communication, add a project to the poster design, season the whole thing with an impressive archive and let the creativity do their work. This is how Bally's idea of ​​cooperation with the Swiss design factory ZHdK must have come about. Looking at the results, it quickly becomes clear: This recipe has proven itself.


The origin of this collaboration is far behind. Travel with me to Schönenwerd in the year 1851. At this time, Carl Franz Bally calls his own shoe factory in the small village in the canton of Solothurn. Thanks to high craftsmanship, he creates functional and modern shoes that meet the spirit of the time. Industrialization plays its part in the success and less than thirty years later, Bally has made it to the heart of the fashion world: in Geneva, Montevideo and Buenos Aires, Bally opened its first shop in Paris in 1879. With future-oriented thinking, the brand succeeds in swinging itself into the top ranks of the first-class shoe brands. In the late 1970s, ready-to-wear and accessory collections were added to the shoes for him and her. Soon globalization is taking effect and Bally is now known and loved worldwide. But in this rapid ascent, the Swiss heritage was a little on the track.

By working together with the creative minds of ZHdK, Bally wants to take a step backwards - back to the beginning, back to Helvetian identity. The 24 students formed into eight groups and were commissioned to design posters inspired by the Fall / Winter 2018/2019 collection. The aim was to interpret shoe models of the Bally archive contemporary. The jury around Bally CEO Frédéric de Narp finally selected four winning groups, whose new interpretations and innovative approaches convinced.

The winning work is made up of proven Bally shoe models, which, thanks to the technology of 3-D scanning, take you into a fascinating, futuristic world. The other award-winning works have also fused the fusion of past and present in an original way - whether by combining the streets of Zurich with classic suit shoes, the orientation to Bally's dynamic poster archive or the combination of historical works of art with modern graphic design. Bally's Swiss identity is strengthened and strengthened by each of the results. And it becomes obvious: The company can be proud of this heritage


The projects were celebrated in September with an event in the Zurich Bally store and are displayed in the shop windows as well as in the store itself. In addition, the designs will be presented in Bally's Geneva and Lucerne stores and shared worldwide on the brand's social media channels.

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