After coming across this photo of an old pair of Paul Wright pointe shoes, my curiosity was peaked. I always wonder why certain pointe shoe brands become obsolete while others remain on the market for decades.
Paul Wright danced as a principal with the New Zealand and Queensland Ballet companies in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. He retired from dancing in 1973, but had already begun selling his new pointe shoe design in Australia a few years before he retired.
Between 1970-1990 Paul created 2 different models. Only one would be successful. The Wright pointe shoe was created on lasts that resembled the shape of the popular Freed brand. The wing area of the shoe was created using traditional paste methods, but the boxes were constructed of a molded polyurethane.
This polyurethane, or moldable, flexible, synthetic rubber was used to prevent the pointe shoe boxes from ever wearing out. Paul also wanted to create a shoe that was quiet on stage. His pointe shoes were made pre-arched and had traditional fiberboard shanks in three strengths.
The demise of the Paul Wright pointe shoe brand came about in 1995 because of the cost of labor in Australia at the time. However, all is not lost! Paul Wright’s company now manufactures from Bali, Indonesia and his wonderful dancewear collection includes many different styles of ballet slippers. Only Paul knows for sure if he will ever decide to re-create his original pointe shoe collection.
You can see The Paul Wright Dancewear Collection by using this link: Dancepacific.com