Fashion

Swiss Fashion Brand Bally is the OG Luxury Sneaker Maker

The iconic Competition, Super Smash, Vita-Parcours, and Galaxy lace-ups return.
IMAGE Paul Del Rosario
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Put aside, for a moment, the New Balance 990v4, the Dior Homme B22, the Virgil Abloh x Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star, or any of the hyped-up sneakers that you are crying over, because the original cool sneakers of the '80s have returned to the scene, and they are by a very old label that you wouldn't expect cool sneakers would come from.

Swiss fashion brand Bally has been around for 167 years and, over the course of its history as a European shoemaker and, later on, a clothing and accessory shop, created four iconic sneaker styles: the Super Smash of 1965, the Vita-Parcours of 1974, the Competition of 1983, and the Galaxy Runner of 1983.

In the era of decadence, these lace-ups were co-opted and therefore blessed by the most discerning footwear enthusiasts, the hip-hop community.

Doug E. Fresh wore a pair of Competitions on the cover of his album Oh, My God!, while Slick Rick rapped about being “Fresh dressed like a million bucks. Threw on the Bally shoes and fly green socks” on the song “La-Di-Da-Di.” 

On the cover of his album Oh, My God!, Doug E. Fresh wears a pair of Bally Competition, a low-top tennis shoe first released in 1983. IMAGE: Danya/Reality/Fantasy Records

As we know, name dropping is high praise in the land of rap, even if the mention is not entirely favorable. In 1995, 2Pac referenced Bally in the song “California Love” as “In LA we wearing Chucks not Ballys.”

More recently, and on a positive note, Nas identified “Bally shoes, Gucci sneakers” as part of the high life in the song “BBC” from Jay-Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail set.

You don't need our endorsement of these luxury sneakers, because famous men had already greenlit Bally kicks as worthy of your attention in a very cool way: They wore them, and then sang about them.

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Check out Bally's latest, including a few of those special sneakers plus more accessories that fit into this season's fresh, young, throwback vibe, below:

IMAGE: Paul Del Rosario

The Vita-Parcours

The high-tops, which feature the original checkerboard motif of 1974, is made of white nappa and detailed with a Corvette-red trim.  

IMAGE: Paul Del Rosario

The Galaxy

The revisit of the 1983 runner does color-blocking with calf leather, suede accents, and mesh. It also lives up to its ethereal name as the lightest sneaker in Bally's portfolio. 

IMAGE: Paul Del Rosario

The Olivio

We like the thick rubber sole of this derby-sneaker hybrid. The sole, by the way, makes use of cemented construction, which translates to sturdiness. 

IMAGE: Paul Del Rosario

The Vanman

The duffle bag in off-white cotton canvas is roomy enough for trips to the weekend market or quick jaunts to a sunny paradise. (It can fit a head!) 

IMAGE: Paul Del Rosario

The Sommet 2

If you need something more refined, Bally does that too. You'll never get tired of this bag's cobalt blue.  

BALLY: Greenbelt 5, Rustan’s Makati, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Newport Mall

Photographs by Paul del Rosario • Styling by Clifford Olanday • Shot on location at 78-45-33, San Agustin Street, Makati

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Clifford Olanday
Senior Fashion Editor, Esquire Philippines
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