Founded by Carl Franz Bally 1851

Carl Franz Bally, established the business after returning from a trip to Paris with a pair of beautifully decorated shoes for his wife. With experience and knowledge gained from running his father’s fine elastic and silk manufacturing business, he was inspired by the shoe to develop shoe making techniques and established the company in Switzerland.

Having launched the business, he quickly gained a reputation for elegant handmade footwear. By the 1880’s the company was producing 100 pairs of shoes a day and seen as a European leader in shoemaking technology. With the companies popularity growing globally, the maison expanded across Europe and into South America.

In 1899, Carl Franz died age 77. Eduard and Arthur, his two sons, took over the business. With the sons carrying on Bally’s popularity, by the turn of the century the Company had over 3200 employees and were producing over 2 million pairs of shoes a year. By 1916, the brand were producing shoe styles for all occasions and the businesses sales had reached record levels.

During the fifties, Max Bally, Carl Franz grandson created the iconic men’s shoe, the Scribe. The stylish and comfortable design marked the brand design revolution.

Over the next few years Bally’s collections expanded to accessories and handbags and by the 1960s, technological advancement from Bally led to a new range of materials including the rubber component worn by Neil Armstrong during “man’s first walk on the moon”.

In  the eighties, the company launched its Busy-B and Trainspotting collection as well as increasing their international presence by opening and renovating stores worldwide.

In 2008, luxury goods company LABELUX Group acquired Bally and the following year appointed Berndt Hauptkorn as CEO. In 2010, Michael Herz and Graeme Fidler were appointed as creative directors.

Over the years, Bally has showcased its commitment to excellence, innovation, and refined craftsmanship. In 2012, the brand marked a significant milestone by opening its flagship store on London’s renowned New Bond Street, offering a luxurious retail experience that showcased its iconic products.

In 2014, the brand launched its inaugural eyewear collection, featuring stylish sunglasses and optical frames that exemplified the brand’s dedication to quality and design. With a focus on global expansion, Bally opened stores in key international markets such as Shanghai, Tokyo, and Dubai.

In 2017, the brand introduced the Bally Peak Outlook Foundation, reflecting its commitment to environmental sustainability and the preservation of the Swiss Alps.

Bally Biography

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Written by Saxony Dudbridge

Saxony Dudbridge was one of the first contributors to the Catwalk Yourself project, Saxony studies International Fashion Marketing and she is responsible for our great History and Designers Biographies sections.

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