The brief set by this iconic shoe company to CSM’s MA Fashion course was to create a range of women’s shoe designs with a strong luxury feel and high editorial value, which demonstrated Bally’s heritage of exquisite craftsmanship and the highest quality leathers.
Under the exacting standards and inspirational supervision of Course Director Professor Louise Wilson OBE, 15 students submitted work for selection with five being chosen to visit Bally’s last and heel manufacturers in Italy to have their designs created. The five students were chosen because their work focused specifically on innovative heel shapes with each choosing to create styles which accentuate a different part of the foot.
The students then went on to work with the craftsmen at Bally’s Swiss shoe factory to begin the prototype process, which was a unique benefit as Professor Wilson explained: "Bally has given these students the opportunity to realise their designs and an invaluable insight into the operations side of their chosen field". After several months and four revisions, an event showcasing the samples was held during London Fashion Week at Brown’s Hotel in London’s Belgravia.
Of these five Bally decided to purchase the work of three of the designers; Estefania Cortes Harker, William Hendry and Charles Youssef. Since then six shoes (two per student) were put into production and the arrival in-store of the Central Saint Martins collection was celebrated with events in London and New York during Vogue Fashion’s Night Out and was viewed by Bally as a commercial success.
Bally CEO Berndt Hauptkorn said of the project: "We are very excited about this collaboration with the students from CSM. We see this as a long term partnership and a key part of Bally’s evolution as a modern heritage brand in the world of luxury."
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