Bally and the World of Shoe Fashion

In 1851, Carl Franz Bally (1821-1899), who owned a small shoemakers workshop in Schönenwerd (Canton of Aargau), decided to divided his shoe production into individual steps and to carry these out using machines. This was revolutionary and the beginning of the multinational Bally, nowadays represented in 64 countries, and shops in the high streets of France, London en New York. The exhibition looks at the company’s history and traces the development of shoe design, marketing, advertising and production to the present day. Bally has alyways stood for quality, aesthetically the highest standards and comfort and permanently looks for new opportunities, for example fashionable, casual and functional shoes (for the army and (wintersport for example).

The exhibition also shows the first stores in France and the true cooperate image of the Bally-stores, designed by the architect Robert Mallett-Stevens (1886-1945) in the 1930’s, the first stores in Uruguay (Montevideo) and Argentina already in the nineteenth century, due to the large German-speaking communities, and the first store in China, 1986, as first western multinational. The exhibition presents the materials of shoes, machines, design, posters, one of the first women shoes (1860) and the famous Bally proof-labor, although the manual input is still an integral part of the production process. The famous original Bally-letters, which adorned the ‘Capitol’ store building, which opened in Zurich in 1968, are also on show.