You'd be forgiven for thinking that after 160 years in existence, a clothing and accessories brand would retain little of the appeal it held throughout the course of its more than lengthy life, but Swiss luxury brand Bally proves such an assertion so very wrong, still providing us all with one-stop solutions to problems arising from a dearth of smart and sporty, yet not too preppy pieces.
Established in Switzerland by Carl Franz Bally way back in 1851, what began as a footwear brand went on to secure both international acclaim and astounding commercial success. Trivia Round - Did you know that Neil Armstrong wore Bally to take his tentative steps as the first man to land on the moon? Me neither...
My only real knowledge of Bally, prior to their collaboration with London design students earlier this year, was gained through identifying a pair of black and battered Bally shoes as the only item(s) in my father's wardrobe that I wouldn't refuse when they reached hand-me-down status. Naturally enough (knowing my luck), I reached a Size 11 and so won't ever quite squeeze into them.
Luckily, on the other hand, and for those as ignorant as myself, this informative video celebrating 160 years of Bally condenses over a century of richly detailed history into one easily digestible video featuring some very desirable shoes and accessories.
^ Celebrating 160 years of Bally
The highlight, for me, comes in the form of the 'Trainspotting' collection, which, no, is not at all related to Irvine Welsh, but rather the distinctive stripes which snake their way attractively around the leather goods and which Franz Bally designed with the Austrian rail network in mind.
^ Bally's 'Trainspotting' collection
And the current men's collection is a far cry from fogyish, too, full of leather lapels, lean knits, British cavalry twill, ponyskin, waxed suede and big f**k-off shimmering leather boots that combine to reinforce that Bally archetype of smart, somewhat sporty and effortlessly elegant...
To shop Bally, and to learn more of its comprehensive history, go here.