Pandemic challenges aside, it seems that the year is shaping up to be the peak of Filipino talent and its ascent in the global scene. In the latest marriage between street and high fashion: Bally just named Pinoy streetwear designer Rhuigi Villaseñor as its newest creative director.
Rhuigi is the founder and visionary behind Rhude, an LA-based streetwear brand that has been worn by the likes of Kylie Jenner, Snoop Dogg, Justin Bieber, and Post Malone.
The Rhude designer’s appointment is a bold move for Bally — the 171-year-old Swiss brand has not named a creative director in five years.
Rhuigi will be tasked to oversee Bally’s artistic direction, a task previously shared by its several footwear, accessories, and ready-to-wear designers.
“It’s my honor to announce that I will now be the new Creative Director of Bally Switzerland,” the Rhude founder wrote on social media. “It’s a mark of a new era and vision for one of the oldest luxury fashion houses. I’m excited to tell my story and bring you all through this journey along with my team, family, and loved ones.”
“THIS IS FOR THE KIDS AND DREAMERS,” he added.
Rhuigi is no stranger to luxury. Through Rhude, he “re-envisioned the modern American dream,” shaped by his experiences of immigrating to the United States from the Philippines at nine years old.
Villaseñor’s first collection as creative director will be part of the Spring/Summer 2023 season.
“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.” Bally CEO Nicolas Girotto said in a statement.
“I have always admired the Swiss approach to luxury, its discreet representation of excellence, and symbiotic openness and care for the environment. Nicolas and I connected on our shared vision, and it is with immense honor that I accept this challenge,” Rhuigi shared.
The past decade has seen the blurring of the worlds between streetwear and high fashion, best exemplified by Louis Vuitton naming the late Virgil Abloh as its creative director.
It’s a great stride for local talent as well — just this month, Vogue announced it was launching its much-awaited Philippine edition.