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What is the origin of ballerinas? Its history and evolution

¿Cuál es el origen de las bailarinas? Su historia y evolución

Do you know where ballerina shoes come from? Indeed, this type of shoe with a generally rounded toe and flat sole comes from ballet, but are you curious to know who contributed to its current popularity?

From pioneering ballet dancers, to prodigious shoemakers, visionary designers and movie stars. The story of the dancers begins!

What are bellerinas?

Ballerinas are a type of footwear characterized by being flat, comfortable and flexible. Traditionally, its tip was rounded, although nowadays there are many other designs. Since their leap from the stage to fashion, they have been characterized by simplicity and elegance, but they are very versatile and combine perfectly with a more casual style.

Uses and characteristics of this footwear

  • The origin of ballerinas comes from the ballet tradition.
  • They became popular in fashion in the 50s and have been present season after season since then.
  • This shoe has a rounded neckline and is very flat.
  • In fact, in English they are called “ballet flat”, in reference to their low sole.
  • They are flexible shoes and therefore very comfortable.
  • They stand out because they can be used with more 'casual' clothing, as well as with elegant outfits.
  • They are combined with pants, skirts and dresses, their versatility is maximum!

A shoe with origins in classical dance

It is not difficult to intuit that the dancer has her origins in the world of ballet. Of course, at the end of the 17th century, when shoes began to be introduced for classical dance, fashion ruled, and dancers had to wear uncomfortable heels.

It was not until the end of the 18th century that the famous French dancer Marie Camargo decided to shorten her skirt and remove the heels of her slippers, something that allowed her to perform more agile movements. Her style marked the decades to come, allowing professionals to execute their complicated movements much more comfortably.

Another milestone in the origin of ballerinas as we know them today was marked at the end of the 19th century by the Italian Salvatore Capezio , who opened a shoe store in New York near the Metropolitan Opera House, so a large part of his clientele were the dancers who needed their dancing shoes repaired. After this experience, he began to produce his own footwear, with ambassadors such as dancer Anna Pavlova, who bought pairs for his entire company. But ballerinas did not begin to make their leap into fashion until the 1940s, when American designer Claire McCardell , one of the promoters of 'casual' fashion, fell in love with these shoes.

The designer asked Capezio to design a line that could be used offstage. Said and done: ballerinas took to the streets with the inclusion of a hard sole.

The evolution of footwear, fame and fashion

Once ballerinas had reached the fashion world, the film world took care of their massive popularity.

Another name that contributed to the spread of this footwear is that of the Italian-born French businesswoman Rose Repetto , who created ballet flats for her son, the prestigious dancer Roland Petit, and founded a dance shoe production business.

Repetto designed the ballet flats worn by the French actress Brigitte Bardot in the film 'And God Created Woman' (1956).

Another fashion icon, the Belgian Audrey Hepburn, also wore these beautiful black sneakers in the film 'Funny Face' (1957).

The use of the dancer in Spain

Due to the influence of fashion and cinema, dancers also arrived in Spain. But one of its most popular names, manoletinas , owes its name to the Córdoba bullfighter Manolete, who had slippers made similar to ballerinas for bullfighting. Of course, this type of shoe has a thicker sole than the classic ballet flats.

Currently, ballet flats are part of the shoe rack of thousands of people in our country, in their completely flat format, but also as ballet flats (with a little more sole) or as Mary Janes, which have a strap that fastens across the instep. and that they are not always flat.

Indeed, dancers are not all the same. And with the aim of making them even more different and special, in 2010 Defloresyfloreros was born , a brand that seeks to make these shoes different, exclusive and a bit daring. Discover our designs!

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