Upon being named Bally’s creative directors last spring, Graeme Fidler and Michael Herz quickly found themselves immersed in 13,000 pairs of shoes, some of which dated from 1851. “We went to the archives to see what was there, and we were amazed,” says Fidler (above left). “We had to be good editors in order to focus.” The designers zeroed in on two pairs that influenced their spring 2011 shoe collection, their first for the house: One, from 1949, features a black elastic upper, and the other, circa 1979, is set on a square wood and metal heel. “Ours are very different shapes,” Fidler notes. “The inspiration is in the mixing of materials.” While the sleek heels and chic wedges are their immediate push, Fidler, 36, and Herz, 44, are responsible for the full range of Bally offerings, from clothes to accessories. For spring they’ve created a capsule handbag collection (one standout is a structured frame silhouette) and put their stamp on both men’s and women’s ready-to-wear (their painted canvas sweatshirts received particularly great reviews). The duo, however, see fall 2011 as their true debut, a chance to make over the entire image of the brand, which will be opening 22 stores in the next 18 months. That’s a tall order, but one they’re confident they can fill. They did, after all, work together for seven years at Aquascutum, where Herz headed women’s wear, and Fidler, men’s wear. “We ask each other for advice if we need it,” says Herz. “I couldn’t do this job by myself, so why not work with someone I like?”
Courtesy of the designers.