When you hear the word Diva, you can either imagine something negative or something positive. You may imagine a high maintenance woman who is very difficult to please. In the artistic realm, the definition of a diva is one of outstanding theatrical talent.
This past June, Merlet of France decided to name the latest addition to their pointe shoe collection Diva. The Diva is an aesthetically balanced shoe with several high-tech components.
The Diva Is Supposed To Be A Ready-To-Dance-In Model
Besides the non-slip platform, it comes with removable gel toe pads inside. This is a 3/4 shank shoe where the shank is made of polycarbonate materials; a tough, flexible substance similar to acrylic.
No matter how you view photographs of the model, it is obvious that a lot of care went into creating sleek lines for the shoe. So what is so Diva-like about it?
Did you notice those purple linings? Purple is the color of royalty. Ballet comes from royal lineage. A Diva, or a dancer of outstanding talent, may feel right at home in pointe shoes with a little hidden ” royal secret”.
Isn’t it interesting to find relevant innuendos in the world of pointe shoe marketing?
You can learn more about the Diva on the UK MerletDance website. The Diva isn’t featured on the Merlet USA website.
In one of my earlier posts from 2010, I spoke about the French Domyos pointe shoe model Renaissance. After visiting the website, I noticed that the Renaissance model is sadly no more. However, there is another interesting shoe in its place; the Relevé.
According to Domyos, this model was created to alleviate pain on pointe. The inner toe is lined with an award-winning elastomer insert material for shock absorption and comfort. You can also see the traction tip on the platforms.
The wide metatarsal area reminds me of the Capezio Aerial. It isn’t going to work for every foot shape, but pointe shoes constructed with extra width in this area are a blessing for dancers that need the room.
With all the other athletic products and shoes that this gargantuan company manufactures, it’s wonderful to see a highly promoted specialized pointe model in their collection.
Another feature of this model is a 2-year guarantee. (!) Only time will tell if that is true. This model has only been on the market since Spring. If there is no paste to break down, a reinforced tip and strong polyester fabric used, it may outlast a traditional pointe shoe.
You can read details about the Relevé in English here.
Can This Model Survive?
The built-in elastomer padding
As I was writing this, I couldn’t help but remember the demise of a similar silicone-pad-built-in idea; the Capulet Juliet D30. After the novelty wore off and the negative reviews started spreading online, both the shoe and eventually the Capulet brand bit the dust.
It appears that Sansha bought them out. You can see that the poor shoe lives permanently in the clearance department. Here are the biggest dancer complaints about built-in padding:
With frequent use, pads shred, break into pieces or move round inside the toe box.
Odor. With the heat and sweat that builds up during class, pads that you can’t take out and replace with fresh ones turn pointe shoes into stink bombs.
Feeling bulky, can’t feel the floor as well, no room to add additional toe protection.
On a positive note, I wish Domyos the very best success with the Relevé. I would love to hear your opinion about pointe shoes with built-in padding.
The Domyos official website offers a choice of many languages, but you can choose the UK link for English. You can find many more photos of their products on their Facebook page.
From the land of clicking castanets and Flamenco dancing comes another pointe shoe brand discovery, Mice Fiestas of Spain.
Mice Fiestas means My Parties in Spanish. Although the company logo is a cute little mouse, the word Mice is pronounced meese in Spanish. The play on word pronunciation between the two languages via a mouse logo is quite clever.
Mice Fiestas was established in Madrid, Spain in 1995. They sell many different types of dance garments, shoes and accessories. The most I can share about the pointe shoe model is that it is a genuine made-in-Spain brand.
I am muy triste ( very sad) that their online catalog page loads as a blank when I click the ballet-pointe shoe category image. Although they have Twitter and Facebook accounts, there is no activity on either site to do more sleuthing.
I wish all pointe shoe models had a video showing them in action on a real dancer’s feet. As with any new model, time ( and dancer reviews) will tell if the Airess passes muster with many or flops into pointe shoe oblivion.
A while ago, I had discovered another pointe shoe brand based in Argentina. Because I post in random order, I took it for granted that the brand, its products and its website would still be up and running when I got around to writing about it.
The brand name of the company was called Sutorio De Maserejian. The word sutorio means belonging to or related to the art of making shoes. When I first discovered the brand, I had an interesting time learning about the company and its founder, Stephan Artin Maserejian.
Sadly, when I revisited the old company website, the domain was no longer viable. There were wonderful family photos and pictures of the workshop where the dance shoes were made by hand in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
After doing some online searching, I found the obituary of Stephan Maserejian. His legacy and life story are really inspiring. There is a memorial slide show that includes a photograph of a cobblers bench from his company workshop.
I have tried to contact his wife and son through their Facebook pages to find out what happened to the company brand name. I am hopeful that I will get a response although they don’t appear very active on the site.
Searching the company name brings up the old Argentina address and there are references online to a location in El Salvador, but it leads nowhere. I will have to put this brand under the mystery category.
Sutorio de Maserejian dance garments and shoes can still be found for sale on eBay-type sites in South America. Unless I can contact the Maserejian family and find out otherwise, this brand name may have sadly disappeared into the pages of pointe shoe history with the passing of its founder.