Leather parka (left) and Himalaya boot (right) from the Everest collection
Trends may come and go, but rugged outerwear has always been a part of the fashion vernacular for men. No brand knows this better than Bally. The Swiss luxury house may have made fashion headlines in the past few years thanks to its chic advertising campaigns and glossy designs (New Yorker Brian Atwood was their creative director up until three years ago), but its heritage is firmly rooted in functional yet high quality footwear.
This season it goes back to its roots with its latest capsule collection, Bally Everest. The line celebrates a milestone in Bally’s history: In 1953, explorer Sir Edmund Hillary climbed Mount Everest together with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, who wore a pair of Bally Reindeer Himalaya boots.
60 years on and Bally creatives Graeme Fidler and Michael Herz have created a celebratory collection inspired by items from the original Everest expeditions. Fortunately the line of ready-to-wear and accessories comes with a modern, 21st century twist although there’s an outdoorsy vibe in the natural materials and earthy colour palette (think burnished browns and weathered blacks).
Viller boot in burnished brown
Naturally the highlight is the boots themselves, which are based on traditional trekking and alpine styles. This time round they are supped up with new technology including a lightweight, moulded lug sole that features Bally’s reengineered 360 Degree Non-Slip Grip, which was first patented in 1919.
There are four styles to choose from but the Himalaya boot, a modern version of Tenzing’s original trekking style, takes pride of place. It comes in natural shaved deer skin with an elasticised rubber lace for easy wearing, cashmere lining and a waterproof sole system.
If you are not conquering mountains, then there are more wearable styles in the form of the Vincens boot which has two layers – a weatherproof exterior and a leather lace-up interior that protects the foot and ankle. The Viller is more casual but incorporates all the technical features men require from a hiking boot – grip, stability and waterproof protection – but with a more fashion forward look.
While the shoes take pride of place, there are also a series of wintry jackets and parkas made from super soft calf leather (some styles are even filled with down). Details such as fur-trimmed hoods and an eye-catching palette make them classic additions to any modern man’s wardrobe. Did I also mention the backpacks and weekenders?
The great outdoors never looked better.