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BALLY – the Story foto

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Positano News Amalfi and Sorrento Coast Online Zurich Switzerland


I have a weak spot for traditional brands – in particular brands which at some point were at the brink but eventually managed to turn around and became a success story. I have known BALLY all my life. My mother loved their shoes, therefore, as a kid I admired their displays – it was my world!


The History

This Swiss company was founded in 1851 – 160 years ago! BALLY is celebrating.

From their start they were successful and employed more than 500 people in the 1860s. They managed to build an international reputation for quality and design and exported their goods to South America.

The listing at the Stock Market allowed massive expansion and by 1916 they employed more than 7’000 people. Neither the wars nor the Great Depression brought them down. They entered the North American market successfully but in the late 1970s their fortunes turned. Low-cost products from developing countries and poor management led to the company being sold several times over the years.

They are still headquartered in Switzerland – in Caslano (Ticino).


The Turn-around

A few years ago, however, BALLY mastered the leap into the top league of the luxury brands.

It was important to win a new customer base. They faced the challenge to completely revamp their image and revitalize the brand. They had to take the risk to lose their traditional clientele without being able to replace them immediately with a younger and trendier customer base.

Eventually, they succeeded! Their campaigns in the recent years with Christy Turlington were brilliant – the right face in the right time! But more than that, it was a strike of ingenuity to hire Brian Atwood as creative director in 2007.

About a year ago, BALLY started to focus on its Swiss heritage. They scoured their archives and produced the most intriguing handbags and shoes. Once again, they got the timing right.


New Creative Directors

Brian Atwood has left BALLY – I loved his shoes! His plateau peep-toes and sandals worked perfectly for me. His successors are Michael Herz and Graeme Fidler, formerly working for another brand with lorry loads of history – the British company AQUASCUTUM. On paper it seems to be a smart move! I am very curious to find out how everything falls into place in the seasons ahead.


About the current Collection

And now, for all of you who admired the BALLY boots of the current autumn/winter season but questioned their heels. I did try several models in order to answer your questions!

The very, very slim steel heel is perfectly centred and balanced. You couldn’t possibly tell the design of your shoe’s heel by simply just standing on it. The stability is perfect. However, trouble is that some of the boots have no plateau which is less than ideal for those of us who intend to walk some distances.

Many of you know that a plateau keeps your feet in a stable position – therefore, no matter how high the heel, as the foot does not move you’re not suffering inflammations in your feet.

The absence of a plateau is a pity because I love the models to bits. The black fury ankle boot is a real darling! But fortunately there are still the most beautiful handbags. You are spoilt for choice – I’ll have a hard time to choose my favourite!




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