Bally’s new creative director is Pinoy Luigi Villaseñor 2
Bally’s new creative director Rhuigi Villaseñor. Photo from @bally on Instagram

Bally appoints Filipino Rhuigi Villaseñor as new Creative Director

Fluent in the language of streetwear and luxury, Villaseñor is tasked to reinvigorate the 171-year old Swiss label
ANCX Staff | Jan 19 2022

The American fashion bible WWD (Women’s Wear Daily), GQ and Highsnobiety reported Tuesday that the 171-year old Swiss fashion company Bally has appointed a new creative director—after five years of not having one. His name is Rhuigi Villaseñor, founder and creative director of Rhude, a high end men’s streetwear brand from Los Angeles whose clothes have been worn by the likes of Justin Bieber, Kendrick Lamar and rap titan Jay-Z. 

“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,” Villaseñor said in a statement.

Villaseñor is from the Philippines. His family moved to the US in 2001, when he was 9 years old. According to WWD, he “grew up in a one-bedroom apartment in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley.” 

“I grew up having interest in all the things that I thought were luxurious because I'm coming from the perspective of an immigrant,” he told GQ in a 2021 feature where he was painted as a young visionary with a rap superstar’s swagger and a fluency in high-living. The Villaseñors had a pretty good life in Manila, and before the migration, Rhuigi’s grandfather had a post in government— Erap’s, if one were to deduce it from the GQ profile. “I mean, he also ran, like, illegal businesses” the designer said of his lolo. “Very Mafia guy.” 

According to WWD, Villaseñor will continue to run his own label—which produces ready-to-wear and accessories—on top of his new role. Nicolas Girotto, Bally’s CEO, has expressed complete faith in his appointee “to continue evolving the contemporary relevance of the brand.” He added in the WWD report: “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.” 

Villaseñor is extremely proud of the Bally appointment. “I have always admired the Swiss approach to luxury, its discreet representation of excellence, and symbiotic openness and care for the environment,” he said. “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.”

Villaseñor’s first collection for the Swiss fashion company will be for the spring of 2023.