Katz Introduces Their New Pointe Shoe Collection

Ever since I first saw the Katz brand of soft ballet slippers, I have admired their beauty and elegance. To this day, I still find the Katz satin slipper one of the prettiest shoes on the market.  The pink ones are pure dreaminess and the white satin version reminds me of  Cinderella, sleeping beauties, fairy tales, and weddings.

Katz Has Mastered The Art Of Toe Pleating, There Is No Doubt

Katz Slipper Pink SatinAs you can notice here, the slippers have painstakingly- perfect pleating under the toes.

Whenever I would see a pair of Katz ballet slippers online, I would always wonder if or when they would ever come out with a pointe shoe. Now, they have! Their lovely shoes are produced in Thrapston, Northamptonshire England.

You Can See Them Hard At Work Making Ballet Slippers

The Katz  Pointe Shoe Collection Begins With Four Models:

  1. Katz Pointe ShoesThe Professional series with hard shank and satin platform.
  2. The Professional series with hard shank and suede platform.
  3. The Beginner series with soft shank and satin platform.
  4. The Beginner series with soft shank and suede platform.

 

Just like the soft slippers, I see the precision of symmetry that gives Katz ballet shoes such wonderful aesthetics. The most admirable quality about them is that they are still made entirely by hand. Across the pond. In England, precious England. Home of Covent Garden, The Royal Ballet, and other fascinating venues of dance history.

I wish the new collection much success. You can learn more about the Katz pointe shoe collection by visiting their official website, Katz-dancewear.co.uk.

 

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What’s New In Pointe Shoe World ?

In between searching for new brands and making regular product checks on the sites listed in the sidebar, things can get quite backed up in the posting department. However, thanks to the manufacturers that have an active social media presence,  receiving a new pointe model alert without having to visit  multiple sites makes things easier.

Below are a few new models introduced this summer :

Evidence Pirouette

Evidence Pirouette

Evidence of Brazil has added a lovely new model to their collection with the pretty name of Pirouette. The major selling point ( no pun intended) of this model is the 90-degree angle of the toe box. Similar in concept to Freed’s Classic Professional, it coaxes the foot into a central position on pointe.

Combined with a strong flexible shank for easy transitions, it could very well be a great shoe for doing pirouettes. It comes with a 3/4 outer sole and is described as a canoe-shaped model that makes your legs and feet look beautiful.

Canoe? Perhaps in Brazil that describes a particular shape and not the shallow boat with paddles and two pointed ends that I picture. If you scroll about halfway down on their company homepage,  you will see a dancer with etched butterfly wings wearing the Pirouette model.

Above the dancer we read : New Pointe Shoe, Design by Fernando Fermino.  Do they mean the pretty butterfly design, or the pointe shoes? If you know who Fernando Fermino is, please feel free to comment.

Fuzi Lisse

Fuzi Lisse

Fuzi of Japan introduced a new model in their collection this summer; the Lisse. According to the product page description, Lisse is a model that can work for all levels of pointe experience.

The major selling feature of this model is sleekness of shape and construction. It looks like quite the low-profile shoe, doesn’t it?

The wings are blocked all the way up the box for dancers that like extra support along the sides of the shoe. You can see the shop display of the Fuzi Lisse in this Facebook photo.

 

Fascinating Vintage-The Hoffert Dancing Slipper

1952 ad Hoffert dancing slipperDo you know what I really love? That ballet can be just as fascinating when you go back in time as it is going forward; especially the shoes.

As a matter of fact, many vintage ballet shoe collectors probably wish they had unlimited funds to scoop up all the rare historical treasures they could get their hands on.

The most fascinating pointe shoe brands are the ones that were alive and well back in the 1920’s through the 1950’s.

I am enthralled with vintage dance shoe ads. These precious ads take us back to a time when pointe  shoes were called toe shoes or dancing slippers. As seen above in this 1952 ad from the Chicago Theatrical Shoe Company, an interesting selling feature was something they called the Italian toe.

No matter what type of toe they had, they are a lovely piece of memorabilia from the now long-gone Chicago Theatrical Shoe Company. Isn’t it amazing that some still survive? This is a great incentive to hang on to your old pointe shoes, or dancing slippers.

 

Vintage BalletDancing slipper……..it sounds so light and airy, graceful and romantic.

 

 

The Leos And Mirella Brand Owned By Bloch

Today when I visited the link for Leos pointe shoes, I was baffled  when I was redirected to the Bloch USA website. Was my computer hacked? What happened to Leo’s website? Why is Bloch also selling Mirella pointe shoes?

It wasn’t too long ago that Bloch sold strictly Bloch. After contacting them through their Facebook page, I was told that, indeed, Bloch now owns the Leo’s brand. For some reason, I didn’t want to believe it, so I decided to investigate further.

The Trademark And Trade-name Search Results:

By jovi, it’s true! Leo’s and Mirella are both registered brands under ownership of Bloch. Not only that, but the registration took place in the late 1990’s. I had no idea. After more searching I discovered that :

  • The Leosdancewear.com domain is registered to Bloch.
  • The Mirella-dance.com domain is registered to a Bloch representative.
  • The collaboration of these trade name sales all take place at the same address in Reno, Nevada. Interestingly enough, the street name is called Trademark Drive.

Shocking, Sad, A Sign Of The Times?

When you consider how long Leo’s was a stand-alone company, ( established in 1924) having to sell their brand name to a bigger company must have been a difficult decision. The same for Mirella. It doesn’t seem like this was just because of limited model choice; Mirella has several models.

What To Call These Blended Brands

Now that Bloch owns the brand name Leos and Mirella, do we call them Bloch-Mirella Whispers or Bloch-Leo Split-soles? Mirella-Bloch Elegance?

To add to the confusion, Mirella’s website is still online, but you can’t purchase anything directly from it. When you visit Bloch Australia you see Mirella models listed first and foremost. All three, Bloch, Leos and Mirella, maintain separate Facebook pages.

Bloch produces their models in Thailand. Leos had transferred production of their pointe shoes to Mexico. I don’t know where Mirella was making their shoes. Does anyone remember any announcement by Bloch, Mirella or Leos letting the public know about these changes? If so, please share.

I, who believe deeply in separation of pointes and state, will now go and bemoan these changes; however long ago they happened.

 

Have Gamba’s Former Cobblers Said Goodbye To Their Me.Me Dance Pointe Shoe Brand?

The U.K.-based company, Me.Me Dance, that was founded by several former Gamba pointe shoe makers,  appears to have disappeared.  Five years ago, It was an interesting discovery not only for a new concept pointe shoe, but that a few talented cobblers decided not to let Gamba’s closure stop them from working their craft. You can read the original post here :

The New Concept 9 Pointe Shoe By Me.Me Dance

The Official Me.Me Dance Website Link Doesn’t Work Anymore

swan diving

down we go……

I  typically try to test the links on the sidebar here as I often as I can. Sometimes, companies change domains.  Sometimes, it is an error on my part. Most of the time, however, it means the brand has been a dying swan and sank to the bottom of the lake feathers and all.

Me.Me Dance Has A  Blog; Albeit With A Few Cobwebs Hanging

I decided to do a little domain investigation about me.medance.co.uk. The domain is free and  is available for sale. That means the broken link isn’t a server problem. There is no longer an official website to place orders. Links are not working on their blog, neither has there been activity since 2015.  I decided to go ahead and send an inquiry in a comment area even though it looks abandoned. Wishful thinking on my part? Absolutely!

There Was Genuine Interest When They Debuted Their Shoes In 2012

I think one of the most informative articles about the specs of the pointe shoes  was published by Ballet News U.K. when they were first introduced to the dance community in the summer of 2012. You can get a great idea of the struggles and challenges of perfecting a pointe shoe design in this article.

I searched for Me.Me Dance on social media sites, but found nothing. I found one dancewear shop in the UK who lists them as available stock and have sent an email to the company. Unless I learn otherwise, it appears this pointe shoe brand is now  discontinued.

 

 

Image Credit: Flickr.com, Duck Diving Swan by Rigor Mortisque, No Modifications, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/