Roland Garros champions Marc Rosset and Jakob Hlasek sported the Bally Champion during the 1990s.
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The Bally Champion sneaker is back to its winning ways

The well-loved archival shoes, which had a hand in an unlikely grandslam win, makes a return. And, as part of its reintroduction, the Swiss fashion house is running a campaign that shares the story of three youths who, in one way or another, are living victorious lives.
ANCX Staff | May 23 2019

It was a particularly competitive Roland Garros men’s doubles tournament in 1992. Apart from the prolific Australian pair of Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge, the French Open field also had multiple major titleholders in Sergio Casal, Rick Leach, and Emilio Sanchez, former world number ones Jim Grabb, David Pate, and Kelly Jones as well as a host of tennis veterans—including both McEnroe brothers.

 

More cool sneakers:

 

(Side note: older brother John partnered then with a 22 year old long-haired rebel by the name of Andre Agassi. The Iranian boxer’s son from Las Vegas would go on to win his first singles grandslam a month later in Wimbledon—and to international acclaim.)

The ones who ended up lifting the Jacques-Brugnon Cup was neither a seed nor a favorite. It was Jakob Hlasek and Marc Rosset who were left standing after a highly competitive three-set final against South African David Adams and Russian Andrei Olhovskiy. And what the Swiss duo stood on was indicative of the result; Hlasek and Rosset both wore Bally Champions.

This colorway, the “Kuba,” was what Hlasek wore to the 1991 ATP World Championships.

Bally has an archive of around 35,000 shoes in its stronghold in Schönenwerd, Switzerland, from which designers constantly draw inspiration. This sneaker worn by Rosset and Hlasek was plucked from the vault there, dusted off, reexamined and then reintroduced for today’s generation.

For Spring-Summer 2019, the design team didn’t try to reinvent the wheel, and stuck to the elements of the well-loved shoe: multi-component rubber outer sole; herringbone mould with new EVA midsole; perforated uppers on the lace-up with an airy mesh lining; and a tongue embossed archival Bally Tennis logo. The Champion was also reissued in the Kuba, the same colorway that Hlasek wore during the ATP World Tour in 1991. (“Kuba” is one of Hlasek’s nicknames.)

Check out the reissue here:

Bally retained most of the elements from the archival sneaker. 

Bally retained most of the elements from the archival sneaker. 

Bally retained most of the elements from the archival sneaker. 

Bally retained most of the elements from the archival sneaker. 

Bally retained most of the elements from the archival sneaker. 

Bally retained most of the elements from the archival sneaker. 

 

Success stories

Last month, Bally relaunched the shoe alongside a new campaign that invited different personalities to share their own unique stories. Called Champions are Made, it features three young adults making their way into the world: actor Ncuti Gatwa, model Maeva Giani Marshall, and dancer Matthew Bell.

Gatwa is best known for his role in the Netflix hit comedy Sex Education. He plays Eric Effiong, someone trying to find and define himself while navigating the confusing triumphs and pitfalls of being a teenager. “‘Defining your own destiny despite the box that the world wants to put you in,” he says, “that’s what I’ve always been about.”

After suffering from a stroke, Marshall took medication that caused her to have allergic reactions to sunlight. These left flash burns across her face, which remain until today as freckle-like spots. But her unconventional look caught the attention of the fashion world, and she has been walking and wearing different big-time brands ever since. “I was never gifted anything, I had to earn it,” she asserts.

Bell understands this resiliency. “‘To get something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done,” he emphasizes. The young performer is a principal dancer at the distinguished Royal Ballet School.

Bally's Champions are Made features Ncuti Gatwa, Maeva Giani Marshall, and Matthew Bell.

The campaign, which shows the trio alongside empowering messages, can be seen in Bally stores and other public places around the world.

 

Bally is in Greenbelt 5, Rustan’s Makati, and Newport Mall. For more information, visit bally.com, or ssilife.com.ph