Bally's Retro Sneaker collection brings back some of the most popular Bally silhouettes from over the past 50 years. The collection includes four replicas of the label's most successful lace-ups from hip-hop era classics to tennis shoes and sporty runners. Originally designed to withstand the rigours of sport their silhouettes’ elegant simplicity, versatile comfort and hard-wearing nature meant they crossed the boundaries to casualwear – both then and today.
The casual, easy, every day sneaker the Super Smash is Bally’s most popular plimsoll from the ‘60s. Reissued with a vulcanised sole, making it more robust but maintaining comfort it features the same Bally logo on the side as for the original.Exact replicas for both men and women the gent’s collection includes original low and high top canvas styles in black as well as leather low top versions in white, black and terra brown. The Super Smash is the casual, easy, every day sneaker.
An iconic urban shoe that is famed for its checker board motif the Vita Patrcaours is back again this season as part of the Retro Sneakers collection.Retaining its checker board motif the colourways released keep the spirit of the original 1974 iteration intact. Produced with a modernised sneaker sole, (also used in Bally’s ‘Heimberg’ collection) the sneaker comes in its original form and seasonal ocean, curry and snuff grey colourways that are sure to become a luxurious staple of streetwear over the coming months.
Part of Bally's Retro Sneakers collection the 1983 silhouette of the Competition has been replicated with the same shape, lining and sole as the original shoe. Featuring a technical shock absorbing polyurethane sole, flexible rocker heel, cushioned tongue and an extra inner sole, the sneaker is finished with Bally’s signature side stripes and a sporty rubber-gum sole. Taking certain cues from its predecessor - it blends the old sneaker’s appeal with a more modern sensibility. The upper stays true to the original 1983 Competition but the angular sole and curved toe cap clearly channel the footwear trends pf today.
Keeping with Bally’s origins in elevated sportswear, the Galaxy mixes luxury suede with a breathable canvas, while a sporty tread sole provides traction. The original runner is Bally’s lightest sneaker and perfectly complements any outfit with its universal and unisex style. The original model in garnet has been reproduced for both men and women with the original running sole whilst other colourways have been produced for the collection crafted in canvas with suede and plain leather details.
Bally sneakers rose to recognition as the first designer sneaker in the mid-1980s among rappers on the hip-hop scene. Long before musicians were calling out other sneaker brands in their lyrics, Slick Rick shouts out he’s wearing his ‘Bally shoes and fly green socks’. Doug E. Fresh put Bally where it could be seen when he wore a pair on his 1986 album cover ‘Oh, My God!’, before featuring them in his music video for ‘All the Way to Heaven’ in a Wild West style shoot out with a pair of Adidas Superstars.
Sneakers, just like music, are an essential part of hip hop culture — their ubiquity on vinyl covers throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s spoke out as a representation of status. As rap music evolved, fans started paying attention to their favourite artists fashion sense and used sneakers as an accessible way to emulate their style. American rapper Nas explains his early fashion influences came from people watching. ‘I’ve always been like that. As a kid I’ve been wearing Bally shoes and silk shirts since I was basically 13-yearsold just from watching people around me, and wanting to look like them.’
2015 saw Bally collaborate with Roc Nation rapper J Cole on a collection of hiking boots. ‘Before I really knew about luxury brands, I knew the name Bally, and I knew in the hip-hop world this wassomething that Biggie was rockin’, Nas was rappin’ and even before that, Rakim, so it’s cool to be in that lineage.” Footwear News, August 2015.
This summer the relationship was once more reignited with the latest collaboration by Grammy Award winning producer Swizz Beatz – a capsule collection of shoes, accessories and ready to wear, with designs by Spanish artist Ricardo Cavolo – which came about organically from Swizz Beatz’s longstanding respect for the brand.
‘I’ve been a fan of Bally since back in the day, growing up in the South Bronx. Bally used to be the signature of making it, Slick Rick, Doug E Fresh - ‘Fresh dressed like a million bucks/Threw on the Bally shoes and the fly green socks,’ - and now to come back years later and be the one to bring things to a new generation...it’s amazing.’ Billboard.com, 29 September 2017
The authenticity of this collaboration was illustrated by the coming together of hip hop legends Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick and Kid Capri at the launch in New York this summer, alongside new generation artists A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg, along with DJ Kitty Cash. Although hip hop is constantly evolving Bally maintains its inextricable link with the music industry. The new collection sees a reintroduction of four of Bally’s most renowned sneakers from past decades, reimaging the brand’s cultural relevance and solidifying the key message ‘Bally is Back’.
As synonymous name within global street wear Swiss label Bally have been creating sneakers since the 1930's. The original designer sneaker the brand starting their craft with plimsolls and gym shoes and progressing to football, basketball and golf. As sneakers transitioned from their sporting practicalities to become part of everyday casualwear, the style or brand that you wore began to signal a sense of belonging. There was something quite special about how your dress code made you feel part of a movement.
Jumping ahead to the 1980s and there sparked a period of time when the Bally name was synonymous with the urban hip-hop movement, gathering momentum in New York City. Bally’s legendary ‘secret, cool history’ as quoted by The New York Times (September 2017), becomes clear once you delve into hip-hop’s longstanding love affair with the brand. The early 80s saw an explosion of Bally within this community and the brand remains a status symbol even today.