Creative director Rhuigi Villaseñor launches new categories for Bally – WWD

MILAN – Ahead of his first mixed show for Bally in Milan on Saturday, creative director Rhuigi Villaseñor admitted he was “excited but also very nervous because it’s the first time on such a big stage. However, that comes with the challenge I took on.

It’s a challenge that he takes up with lots of new ideas to offer. Villaseñor, who was named to the top designer job in January, described Bally as “a sleeping beauty or a nice classic car sitting in a garage that hasn’t been working for a while.” The designer was particularly drawn to the brand because of “a personal and romantic connection” as Bally was carried in his family “from generation to generation, from my grandfather to myself”.

While being respectful of Bally’s history and proud owner of “pretty vintage” shoes, the designer is eager to leave his own mark on the brand, beginning “Bally’s Rhuigi era”, he said. with a smile.

Indeed, in an exclusive preview, Villaseñor, a native of Los Angeles, Calif., said he was adding a Californian vibe to the Swiss brand. For example, he paired a denim blouse, with the fabric made in Los Angeles, with a long slit skirt hand-embroidered with rows of resin baguette beads and embellished with new Bally monogram brass hardware. It’s part of a new category of evening wear he’s launching for the brand.

Black mule heels with rhinestone-embellished mesh trimmed in leather and a glossy lacquer stiletto highlight Bally’s footwear expertise.

Villaseñor also creates new materials for accessories reminiscent of sculptures, wooden toy blocks or a sundial.

Rhuigi Villaseñor and a spring 2023 look.

One of its aims is to add lighter and more informal fabrics, but also elegant and sophisticated chiffon, to the brand’s basic leather heritage. This will help balance the seasonality, since Bally is very much associated with the mountaineering tradition. In fact, the designer also plans to introduce swimwear in the spring offer.

His wife will be more sensual, says Villaseñor.

Wanting to further elevate Bally’s positioning, he said the brand’s designs should be luxurious “like a Swiss watch”.

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

The designer succeeds Pablo Coppola, who left Bally in 2017 after a three-year experience, the last to hold this position.

Manila-born Villaseñor is the founder, CEO and creative director of the Rhude brand, which includes ready-to-wear and accessories, as well as lifestyle partnerships, including homeware and automotive.

A Filipino immigrant who grew up in a one-bedroom apartment in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley and became a fashion staple for Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z, Villaseñor was influenced in this direction by his mother, a tailor, and his father, an architect. He founded Rhude in 2015.

Comments are closed.