Bal Designs is a label by the Lithuanian designer Rita Balta, based in Cologne. Her unique products (most notably the classic wallet made from a used basketball) have been exhibited at fairs such as the Tokyo Design Week (2012) and the New York Design Week (2013), and have delighted people across the world.
No more than an idea and a sewing machine
Our roots are based in Lithuania. After the Lithuanian team already won their first big titles before the Second World War, basketball really gained a special importance here during Soviet times. It was the only possible outlet to demonstrate a sense of home. Even when Lithuania became independent again, it was basketball players that first carried the country’s name out into the world.
Even today, basketball is still seen as a second religion – but old balls generally don’t find their way back into the spotlight. That should change.
Like any good success story, this one starts with no more than an idea and a sewing machine. In 2011, Rita Balta designs a small pouch from an old, broken Spalding ball: the first predecessor to the Bal Designs wallet. The idea developed quickly, and the wallets, which were initially only intended for her friends, gained in popularity. In no time, Bal Designs has become an international label, whose timeless designs have found fans from Tokyo to New York.
Designer Rita Balta comes from Vilnius and, after having lived in Vienna and Warsaw, now lives in Cologne. In 2016, she became the ambassador for the EU environmental campaign “Generation Awake”. For the young designer, this is a personal contribution to environmental protection and resource conservation.