De Narp said that the company’s sales were up 3% at constant exchange rate since January, and the full-year growth is expected in the low-to-mid single digit. “Bally has a fantastic heritage, the only thing we have to do is to exploit it well”, he commented at the FT Business of Luxury Summit in Monaco. The main objectives now are to make Bally more appealing to women, boosting its market share up to 50% from the current 30%, and to double its business in the United States and Japan over the next five years.

The 164-year-old company has been Europe’s biggest shoemaker before World War I, but it lacked a clear strategic direction for many years. Former designers’ attempts at more modern styles were not appreciated by Bally’s clientele who prefer the brand’s more minimalist and sober image.

Bally is now owned by Luxembourg-based investment company JAB Holdings, which also controls Belstaff, Coty, Jimmy Choo, Douwe Egberts, among others.