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Bally CEO Nicolas Girotto recently opened new stores in New York’s Meatpacking District and on London’s Bond Street (which are operating), and another on Sydney’s George Street (which cannot). This is part, he said, of a bet the house is making that Bally customers are keen to reconnect physically with the brand. “Because while digital remains a crucial channel, we all want to have this physical interaction and to be able to discuss the pieces with the salespeople: for me this is fundamental.”

This Bally collection contained many highly-refined artisanal pieces, including Scribe shoes and matching bags, small leather goods and a coat in fine strips of blue and black check woven leather, plus a broader-weave women’s handbag with unstitched edges that flipped and flopped like well cooked fettuccine. These items were, as usual, highly accomplished and finely finished.

More unexpectedly interesting, however, were pieces more modestly hewn. A series of what Girotto called “artist’s jackets” that also resembled liner jackets, in quilted double-B Bally monogram relief leather, some naturally dyed work coats, a bomber in deadstock sartorial cotton, and some properly hot washed denim jeans and work jackets were all refreshingly rusticated. The B-relief returned in handsome sandals for women from which the upper had been stencilled from a single piece of leather. And a pair of heavily riveted clogs, plus some backless clog-boots similarly finished, were boho shoes of beauty. Girotto added that 40 percent of this collection comprised what the company calls ‘Preferred Materials’—“because nobody can truly say what sustainable is”—an uptick on last season's 20 percent. Steps are being taken at Bally.


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