Pablo Coppola, Bally’s design director, has collaborated with Paris-based artist and nightlife impresario André Saraiva, aka Mr.A, on an exclusive capsule collection for the Swiss brand. The line, Bally x André, is built around a reinterpretation of a classic Bally riding boot.
The collaboration had its genesis when Saraiva rediscovered a pair of 1973 Bally boots he had bought at a vintage sale and decided he wanted to create a replica pair for a girlfriend.
He worked on a redesign with Coppola, and the process spawned not only a co-ed reimagining of said boot but also an assortment of small leather goods, embossed with Andre’s calling card, the stick- figure character ‘Mr. A’. The renderings are all typically humorous and are, of course, perfectly shod.
Saraiva has created a poster for the brand as well, and the design also appears as a playful print on a silk scarf. This is a nod to Bally’s heritage of advertising created by artists such as Otto Baumberger and Bernard Villemot. The brand has committed to reinstating this erstwhile tradition and produce a new poster every year by a different creative talent.
Saraiva, whose work has been seen at the Grand Palais in Paris and the 54th Venice Biennale, has been creative director for French fashion magazine L’Officiel Hommes and has collaborated with an array of fashion brands, including Louis Vuitton. He started in the 1980s as a graffiti artist on the streets of Paris and became the first of his ilk to replace an anonymous tag name with his figurative and eminently more personable Mr A.
But it always pays to have a backup plan, and he simultaneously built a career as an owner of international clubs and hotels, including famous Paris boite La Baron.
The collection will be available in select Bally stores and online in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and U.S. from October 2016.
Click through the gallery to see the full collection.