It’s been almost 30 years since Swiss label Bally’s Animal sneakers became a symbol of urban American street style, and now the luxury label is bringing back its signature kicks — starting in New Orleans, the city that helped kickstart the brand to fame in the U.S.
The high-end shoemaker, which introduced the eccentric Animals in 1991 to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the Swiss Federation, is going to the Big Easy for the shoe’s relaunch following popular demand in the U.S. market, CEO Frédéric de Narp told FN.
Launching tomorrow, the collection arrives in conjunction with the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which concludes May 6, and features two Animal sneakers in blue, red and black colorways alongside accessories and ready-to-wear.
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Bally became a status symbol of the growing hip-hop scene in the ’90s, with local rapper Bust Down chanting “Putcha Ballys On” in his 1991 single of the same name that quickly gathered momentum as an anthem in the city.
“Bally was deeply inspired by the people of New Orleans and the love that New Orleans has for this special shoe, so it felt only right to honor this and launch the collection exclusively where the cultural phenomenon began. Not only this, but it is also the 300th anniversary of the city of New Orleans — so a real moment to celebrate heritage,” said de Narp, who is heading to the city this week for the festivities.
The pieces are available for purchase on Bally.com and select stores. According to the company, the collection has already been pre-sold in the hundreds, with 90 percent of sales coming from four Southern states: Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. One in five orders originated from New Orleans.
Coinciding with the relaunch is a documentary produced by New Orleans filmmaker Benjamin Simmons that will preview at the Orpheum Theatre tomorrow.
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