Home World Bally’s Rhuigi Villaseñor Introduces First Capsule for Swiss Brand – WWD

Bally’s Rhuigi Villaseñor Introduces First Capsule for Swiss Brand – WWD


MILAN — From the Alps to the Wild West.

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

Hinging on Bally’s storied curling boot, the capsule offers options from transitional to high-season winter footwear, fusing Western details with traditional mountaineering motifs employing 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 to 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 Italy’s Dolomites.

“I had lots of fun imagining a lifestyle capsule around Bally’s iconic curling shoe,” Villaseñor said. “I wanted to give it an unexpected twist by clashing cowboy western vibes with an alpine spirit that’s both glamorous and laid-back. I hope that the capsule will resonate with Bally’s existing customer and appeal to a new audience. Introducing them to a sport they may have not known about, While looking good learning it.”

Villaseñor, who is a Los Angeles, California, native, was appointed to the top creative role in January. He succeeded Pablo Coppola, who exited Bally in 2017 after three years, the last to hold this role.

An image from the Bally curling campaign

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Ahead of his spring 2023 show, Villaseñor said he was adding a California vibe to the Swiss brand and this capsule also reflects this hybrid concept as he blended Swiss-inspired collegiate prints and embroideries with archival Bally graphics, shearling-trimmed denim and Western quilted outerwear.

Men’s and women’s designs include a new curling uniform of fine-gauge roll neck sweaters and luxury jogging pants, cashmere hoodies, sweater vests and leg warmers.

The palette ranges from earthy fall shades to icy pastels.

Bally’s curling boot is presented in different variations, scaled up as thigh-high boots or down as shearling slides; topstitched with Western motifs reminiscent of cowboy boots, or padded and laced with drawstrings as a hybrid curling snow boot.

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

An image from the Bally curling campaign

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

The collection will launch in mid-November at selected Bally boutiques globally including New York and Zurich, Switzerland, and in multibrand 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 movie, titled “Curl Curl Baby,” will be launched with the collection, which was filmed in St. Moritz.

For spring, Villaseñor unveiled a new logo, inspired by a circa 1930s photograph of a boutique in France designed by architect Robert Mallet-Stevens. The writ featured a sans serif treatment, at the time quite futuristic.

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

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