Fly­ing In

WWD Digital Daily - - Front Page - BY SA­MAN­THA CONTI

Bally heads to Tokyo to un­veil its lat­est col­lab­o­ra­tion, the Swizz Beatz x Shok-1.

The com­pany is dream­ing of skele­tons, bugs and skulls, part of a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Swizz Beatz, and the spray paint artist known as Shok-1.

LON­DON — Hal­loween may be three weeks away, but Bally is al­ready dream­ing of skele­tons, flies and skulls, part of its new col­lab­o­ra­tion with Swizz Beatz, and the Lon­don-based spray paint artist known as Shok-1.

Bally will re­veal the cap­sule ac­ces­sories col­lec­tion on Wed­nes­day dur­ing a flash, two-day visit to Tokyo where Shok-1 will also un­veil a mu­ral on the side of Park Build­ing in Shibuya and host a pop-up gallery at the brand’s Ginza flag­ship, its largest store at 8,640 square feet.

This is the lat­est col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Bally and Kasseem Dean, the mu­sic pro­ducer known as Swizz Beatz, who works with the Swiss brand to find tal­ent for one-off col­lec­tions.

This lat­est of­fer in­cludes totes, clutches, high-tops and hood­ies with Shok-1’s del­i­cate X-ray paint­ings of flies, skele­ton tor­sos and bony hands that form one of mu­sic’s fa­vorite ges­tures, a fist with the pinkie and in­dex fin­gers ex­tended.

Frédéric de Narp, Bally’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, said the brand and Swizz Beatz were both eager to work with Shok-1, a Bri­tish artist who be­gan his ca­reer as a chemist and who is now known for his grace­ful, large-scale mu­rals, some of which are done in iri­des­cent or flo­res­cent pal­ettes.

“I re­spect him be­cause he is a pi­o­neer, and that is what we wanted — some­one unique. He in­vented X-ray paint­ing, and he also knew about the Bally cul­ture, Bally’s re­la­tion to hip-hop in the Eight­ies and Nineties and the brand’s con­nec­tions to the mu­sic world,” de Narp said. He added that Shok-1 has never col­lab­o­rated with a lux­ury brand be­fore, un­til now.

Last year, Bally and Swizz Beatz worked with Span­ish artist Ri­cardo Cavolo on a col­lec­tion filled with bold, graphic pat­terns and shaman mo­tifs.

De Narp added that the brand’s one­off col­lab­o­ra­tions in­spired by art and mu­sic and aimed at Mil­len­ni­als have so far been a hit. He ex­pects this one to have sold out in six weeks’ time.

The 44-piece col­lec­tion will have lim­ited dis­tri­bu­tion at Bally stores and through pop-ups at re­tail­ers such as Sel­fridges and Har­rods. En­try prices range from $45 for a pair of socks to $175 for T-shirts. Sneak­ers run from $390 to $475, while the leather back­pack costs $1,850.

“These re­cent col­lab­o­ra­tions have elec­tri­fied the brand in the eyes of the Mil­len­nial, the tar­get au­di­ence. They love this con­nec­tion to art. The cap­sules also help us to do some­thing quick — it’s a drop — and you want it to be lim­ited and se­lected. The col­lab­o­ra­tions give a real rea­son to visit the store and to con­nect with the brand — and they’ve been ex­tremely pos­i­tive for busi­ness,” de Narp said.

The ceo said he chose Tokyo for the launch be­cause the city ex­ists at the cut­ting edge of sports­wear and streetwear. In ad­di­tion to be­ing the home of Bally’s largest flag­ship, it has spe­cial mean­ing for de Narp him­self, who moved to Ja­pan straight af­ter uni­ver­sity, learned the lan­guage and prac­ticed mar­tial arts. He be­gan his lux­ury goods ca­reer there, too, work­ing on the shop floor at the Cartier Ginza store.

Twenty per­cent of the pro­ceeds from sales in Ja­pan of the new col­lec­tion will go to the lo­cal Red Cross to aid vic­tims of the ty­phoons, which have been bat­ter­ing the coun­try since June. “This is a big deal, I am ex­cited, and it’s go­ing to be re­ally, re­ally fun. Swizz Beatz just texted me now to say ‘It’s show time!’” said de Narp said.

Bally x Swizz Beatz x Shok-1

A hoodie from the Bally x Swizz Beatz x Shok-1 col­lab­o­ra­tion.

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