Carl Franz Bally, (1821-1898) the son of a silk-ribbon weaver, founded the Bally Company in 1851 and manufactured and supplied ribbons and sundries, including the elastic webbing used by shoemakers. The exact date the company began making shoes varies according to different company histories, but it is often reported that while on a visit to Paris in the 1890s Carl bought an entire stock of shoes with the intention of mass-producing high-quality copies. Carl died in 1898 after Bally had begun producing footwear. His son continued to develop the business as a quality manufacturer of fine shoes.
Unlike many companies, Bally managed to not only survive the Great Depression and the material shortages caused by World War II but also to grow and prosper. Bally shoes were successfully exported around the world from the 1920s to the 1960s, with exports accelerating during the 1970s and reaching a pinnacle in the mid 1980s. Sales began to falter in the 1990s when competing brands took a larger share of the market, and Bally was sold to an American investment firm in 1999. The company has been reorganized with a view to taking its former position in the luxury footwear market.
Written by kickshawproductions.com