Are More Pointe Shoe Factories Sharing Brand Production?

I spend a lot of time researching and reading online. Sometimes I end up on ballet forums from other countries. Sometimes I follow dance links that are posted in the sidebar of dance supply companies. Often, I notice that some pointe shoe companies spread themselves out in various parts of the world using what I call the mixing bowl method of producing dance products. Let’s take Capezio, for instance.

Capezio Is Based In New Jersey, U.S.A. Right?

Technically, Capezio is considered an American pointe shoe brand. The shoes are made and shipped from the factory in New Jersey to distributors throughout the United States. However, Capezio has grown so global in size, that it must divide itself into “regions”. That makes perfect business sense if you are a huge company.

How Capezio, Minassian  And Cecilia Kerche May Be Intertwined

When you visit the Capezio website, you will see the regions listed. USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand are the countries listed on their official website. The mystery is why Brazil is not on that list. Capezio Brazil is a popular supplier of pointe shoes in that country. The official Capezio Brazil website also sells models from Cecilia Kerche to furthur complicate things (from a writers viewpoint).

Comparing Brazilian Capezio Models To Those Of Minassian

Capezio Partner

The Capezio logo of dancer in air is visible on the sole of the Partner 3/4 sole

As soon as one visits the Capezio Brazil site, the model names of the pointe shoes sound familiar;  Partner, Giselle and Fouette. Minassian has a Partner model.

If you try to look for  Minnasian Partner pointe shoes on Google images, you will find the Capezio-branded models instead. Here is why I think Brazilian Capezios, Cecilia Kerche and Minassian all come from the same factory:

  1. Everybody is located in Brazil
  2. There are only enough factories to go around
  3. Pointe shoes are made on lasts or forms
  4. Name brand popularity sells more shoes

Are you confused yet? When you consider how many different brands of pointe shoes are sold in this world, it can be farfetched to believe that every single brand is made in its own factory. It is much cheaper for a company to use the building and the cobblers that are already there in a country then to spend millions on a new factory.

Slap on a different satin and imprint the sole with a different logo and there you have it! The Partner is made on the Partner last or form. The shape of the shoe stays the same . The Capezio Partner and the Minassian Partner  are most likely  the same shoe.  In all probability, Cecilia Kerche will not be spending millions to build and employ cobblers when an established pointe shoe factory already exists in that region. This is simply global business; something dancers rarely think about.

Shipping in pointe shoes from New Jersey to Brazil would not be very cost-effective or meet the needs of the local dancers in a very efficient way. When a company can do business as cheaply as possible, customers don’t have to spend as much for their shoes. Unless, of course, the company is a profit hog.

Pointe Shoe Factories Are Becoming Like Candy Factories

Am I ranting a bit in this post? I certainly didn’t intend to write this as a rant, but I do admit that this mixing bowl globalization of pointe shoe making is  disappointing in a way. Will we lose “pure-bred” pointe shoes and end up dancing in mutts?

As an American writer, I am fascinated by the shoe brands of other countries. It is sad to think that one could get excited over a pair of Spanish pointe shoes only to find out that they were made on an old Chinese form. I love the idea of a pure pointe shoe brand; made in its own country, own factory and sold exclusively alone on its own website. My challenge as a writer will be to learn more about pointe shoe manufacturing without letting it kill the magic of such a beautiful product.

Visit Capezio Brazil and  Minassian of Brazil to compare the Partner pointe shoe model.


One response to “Are More Pointe Shoe Factories Sharing Brand Production?

  1. I´m from Brazil and I have to say that this comment at some point made many things clear. Almost everybody in my class wears Capezio or Millenium pointe shoes. The ones who like softer and don´t mind the noisy pointe shoes, get Capezio. The ones in favor of harder and more silent pointe shoes choose Millenium. The thing is that these characteristiscs sometimes do not meet some discussions online. The characteristics of the shoe and even the names are different (Cerrito, as far as I know, only exists in Capezio Brazil). It’s a confusion when I try to research more about my shoes because they seem to exist only in Brazil, even though Capezio is an international brand. Kind of weird. Now that you explained this international issue, I see that maybe this discrepancy is due to this mixing between factories.
    Nice to know. Thanks.

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