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Fashion and Beauty

Bally appoints Fil-Am designer Rhuigi Villaseñor as new creative director

Marane A. Plaza - Philstar.com
Bally appoints Fil-Am designer Rhuigi Villaseñor as new creative director
Fil-Am designer Rhuigi Villaseñor
Rhuigi Villaseñor via Instagram

MANILA, Philippines — Swiss luxury fashion house Bally has just appointed Filipino-American fashion designer Rhuigi Villaseñor as its new creative director.

Villaseñor has been applauded for being the founder of luxury lifestyle brand Rhude in 2015, a streetwear label that has since been sported by the likes of Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, and more.

Rhude is known for mashing up luxury techniques with streetwear elements, with pieces ranging from graphic T-shirts to statement varsity jackets.

"I am proud to be appointed as the new creative director of Bally. As a brand that is very dear to my heart, Bally has been worn in my family from generation to generation, from my grandfather to myself," Rhuigi said in a statement.

The fashion designer added, "The brand’s pioneering legacy across social innovation and 171 years of luxury heritage is a true inspiration, and I am drawn to the company’s paramount commitment to sustainability and craftsmanship."

"I have always admired the Swiss approach to luxury, its discreet representation of excellence, and symbiotic openness and care for the environment. Nicolas [Girotto] and I connected on our shared vision, and it is with immense honor that I accept this challenge. I look forward to invigorating and modernizing the brand while respecting its longstanding tradition, sharing its story further with a wider community," he said.

Nicolas Girotto, Chief Executive Officer of Bally, explained why they chose the Fil-Am designer.

"I entrust Rhuigi, a talented visionary, to continue evolving the contemporary relevance of our brand and accelerate growth while preserving Bally’s core values. Having acutely followed Rhuigi’s ascent, I am excited by how his natural creativity and energetic spirit have made him one of the industry’s greatest idea generators and community builders. Rhuigi’s deep understanding of Bally’s history coupled with a distinct appreciation of the Swiss lifestyle will be instrumental in ushering the brand into the future," the CEO said.

He added, "Over the past three years, we have redefined our positioning, successfully consolidating the brand across product offering and customer touchpoints. This strong foundation, rooted in an embrace of our Swiss identity, enables us to progress on our ambitions. In this transformative moment, and having found the right champion in Rhuigi, we are ready to move Bally to the next level."

Born in Manila, Philippines, Villaseñor moved to Los Angeles when he was 11 years old and could barely speak English. He told Esquire US, "I came into the States and I didn't even know who Tupac was."

The designer is now using his experiences as an immigrant to design from an emotional standpoint. He takes cues from his family's journey, from the countless buses his mother had to take, to learning his very first English sentences, to graduating as a valedictorian.

As creative director, Villaseñor will oversee the artistic direction for the whole of Bally. The designer will release his first full collection for the brand for the spring/summer 2023 season.

RELATED: Bottega Veneta posts ad on Great Wall of China for Chinese New Year 2022

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