Rhuigi Villaseñor’s debut effort for Bally draws praise 2
Bally's creative director Rhuigi Villaseñor (center) and and two looks from the brand’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection. Villaseñor's image from Bally. Fashion images courtesy of SSI Philippines.

From Vogue to GQ: Reviews are in for Filipino Rhuigi Villaseñor’s debut collection for Bally

The 30-year-old presented a collection that’s all about sexy, wearable, easy luxury
ANCX Staff | Sep 29 2022

The newly appointed Creative Director of Bally, the Filipino fashion wunderkind Rhuigi Villaseñor, presented his first collection for the Swiss luxury brand in Milan Saturday. Wearing a sleek double-breasted pinstripe suit he had altered to fit, the 30-year-old presented a debut spring/summer collection that was all about wearable luxury with a clear casual ease. 

“I like to think of it as a sort of ecdysis—a time of shedding the old and revealing the new while staying true to the brand’s origins,” Rhuigi said before the show. The guy is also quoted in Vogue describing the clothes as characterized by opulence and sexiness. “It’s about what I want to wear when I go out, and what my friends want to wear when they go out, and what I think other people want to wear when they go out.” 

A boxy suit from the S/S 2023 collection.

The standout pieces for women in the 40+ piece collection include a midnight blue suede peasant top and high-slit skirt secured by a buckle bearing an old “BB” interlocking logo design from the Bally archives; a torso-baring figure-hugging long knit dress; and a heavy-looking pullover covered in thousands of bead-like material that give the effect of flapper fringes. For men, the head turners were a yellow snakeskin jacket paired with faded jeans; a couple of boxy double-breasted suits; and a shirt-and-leather-shorts ensemble that came with a sumptuous camel overnight bag.

Fashion watchers were quick to note the echoes of early Tom Ford-in-Gucci in the collection, with a bit of Ralph Lauren thrown in—which isn’t exactly a dig at Villaseñor’s capability but more a tracing of the man’s influences and where he is possibly taking the brand. Here’s what the international fashion press has to say about Rhuigi’s inaugural show for Bally: 

A shirt-and-tailored-shorts look with a camel overnight.


“Much of the offering was perhaps a touch too reverential to the literal codes of luxury that we were hoping this collection would enhance through loving interrogation. At times it felt a blend of late-Ford x early-Giannini Gucci flavored with accents of Ralph Lauren. That’s not to say it wasn’t what Villaseñor was aiming for—opulent and sexy—because it was. And you can see this designer’s personal momentum and the inherent oomph of these pieces making them highly sought-after. Once he sheds some nerves and is a little more settled in behind the big desk at Bally, it would be great to see Villaseñor import more of himself—and his playfulness—into this new, old luxury world. The upcoming curling capsule (yes, really) should provide that wit in spades. For now, this was a debut that delivered much, and promised even more.”—Luke Leitch 


A post shared by Bally (@bally)


“His debut collection for Spring/Summer 2023 might be the break that enlivens the brand, as he sent a hybrid of vintage-inspired references down the runway for buyers and consumers to digest…Yet, it’s up to Villaseñor to bring the desired street credibility and glam back to the house, and his recent showing might be a lowkey step in the right direction.”—Avon Dorsey 

A heavy top with fringe detail from the S/S 2023 collection.

Suzy Menkes 

“Milan is filled with grand houses embracing young designers - and each arrival brightening the fashion picture. That was especially so at Bally, where the prestigious but stolid company moved on to the wild side. The result was unexpected - but intriguing. Rhuigi Villasenor showed the new spirit of the house: colourful, seductive and fun. “Opulence and sexiness” was the way the new designer defined his spirit. And in a single dress he showed how he could pull the look together: a dress slithered open from the waist all the way down to the shoe - in prime position.”

A suede top and high-slit skirt with a buckle bearing an old Bally logo design.


“In a week where a lot of the menswear on display looked overcomplicated, like designers were packing 30% too many ideas into their garments, seemingly in order to keep up with the rapid evolution of men’s style, Villaseñor’s message was all that more clear and direct, and reflective of the seasoned hand of stylist George Cortina. (It was also very, very expensive looking.) As he explained before the show, he didn’t overthink the men’s looks. ‘It’s about really making things that are part of my wardrobe...It’s what guys my age and my friends want to wear and go out in,’ Villaseñor said.”—Samuel Hine 

A torso-baring knit dress from the S/S 2023 collection.

New York Times

“For his debut at Bally, Rhuigi Villaseñor, the self (and mom)-taught founder of the haute L.A. streetwear line Rhude, opted to transform the formerly stiff Swiss label into what looked like nothing so much as a sort of Gucci-in-its-Tom-Ford-late-’90s-heyday tribute brand. There was python! There were metallic leathers and big, shiny buckles! Shirts unbuttoned to the navel, jersey gowns with big chunks bitten out of the sides and back and gold-plated attitude — for both men and women…Derivative though the ethos may have been, that energy has been missing from the catwalks for awhile now (Gucci sure isn’t doing it any more) and, with some faded denim thrown in, it was still a heck of a lot of fun.”—Vanessa Friedman

For more on Rhuigi, click on this link. 

Fashion images courtesy of SSI Philippines