Swiss luxury brand Bally is turning to the founder of LA-based streetwear brand Rhude as its new creative director.Rhuigi Villaseñor, who was born in Manila before launching his fashion career in LA, will oversee artistic direction across the brand starting with the Spring/Summer 2023 season, Bally said in a statement.
The move comes as the shoemaker owned by JAB Holdings attempts to relaunch its business after a lengthy sale process to Chinese group Ruyi fell through.
The brand’s triple-stripe sneakers and Scribe dress shoes once dominated American department store floors, with a client base ranging from office workers to rappers like Biz Markle and Ghostface Killah. But a too-abrupt shift away from wholesale in the early 2000s saw its business in that key market collapse.
The choice of Villaseñor, whose Varsity-inflected line of letterman jackets, high-top sneakers, and hoodies is a favorite of basketball stars including LeBron James and Kevin Durant, suggests the brand hopes to reconquer the US market, where luxury sales have grown rapidly since the pandemic.
The Swiss shoemaker owned by JAB Holdings is charting a way out of the pandemic after a sale to China’s Ruyi fell through.