ABOVE: AN INSPIRATION IMAGE BY OLAF BREUNING FOR BALLYLOVE 2.
The art world is never more lively than during Art Basel Miami; so it was only fitting that the fashion mainstay Bally would team up with Swiss artist Olaf Breuning—known for his humorous and playful work—for their ongoing BallyLove series. Launching on Wednesday, November 30, in conjunction with the fair, the partnership will feature a capsule collection of shoes and accessories designed with the company’s Creative Directors Michael Herz and Graeme Fidler. It is also marks the second time Bally has worked with a contemporary artist, following BallyLove #1 by Philippe Decrauzat, also Swiss.
Andy Warhol—who merged fashion and art together better than anyone—inspired Breuning last year to re-imagine the late artist’s legendary Marilyn Monroe portraits. For his Marilyns, Breuning produced a sequence of still lifes featuring models coated in black paint and given the Warhol treatment of bright Pop-colored faces and hair. “It seems so many great things are already done in the past, and as a contemporary artist, it is more and more difficult to be a pioneer. I always loved Andy’s Marilyns and at that time I had not a great ‘new’ idea, and thought I want to honor them in my own language,” Bruening explained.
Bruening’s Marilyns, along with vintage Bally advertising posters, were the starting points for BallyLove #2, which found the artist working outside of his comfort zone: “As an artist, I was aware that it will be a collaboration and not just my own work, where I usually make no compromises. That is also the reason why I do projects like this, so they can develop in a direction I never would go by myself.”
The capsule collection, which the public will see for the first time in the Art Collectors Lounge of ABMB, consists of women’s rubber ballet slippers, men’s loafers in black with neon lining, totes, messenger bags, and other accessories. BallyLove #2 will debut with an accompanying series of still lifes that were originally unveiled in Basel, Switzerland this past June. The images again feature painted models, but this time coated in all white with Bally’s spring colors instead of Warhol’s.
Following the Miami premiere, the capsule collection will be available online starting April 2012, and in select Bally flagship stores worldwide featuring a unique window installation by Olaf Breuning.