By now, every American ballet student and professional knows that Russian Pointe is a highly-respected and popular brand name of pointe shoes. Looking over their models, I can agree that the aesthetics of a Russian-made shoe are some of the loveliest in the world.
However, there is something very interesting going on at the Russian Pointe factory that needs sorting out in my head and on this blog. To sort this out so it makes sense, I will begin with the obvious; the factory in Russia.
Construction of the various models that Russian Pointe makes involves the basic materials and a standard last for that type of shoe. It isn’t until the cobbler is told which country the shoes will be shipped to that he can decide what kind of sole to attach to it. He chooses between three brand stamps for the sole; Russian Pointe, R-Class or Energetiks. For the sake of example, let’s take the model Brava.
Russian Pointe Brand Shoes That Stay In Russia Are R-Class
Here you have a pair of R-Class Bravas. They are the established brand name that is synonymous with the high standards of construction that are required for the serious dancer seeking gorgeous aesthetics and variety of fit.
When I first learned that Russian Pointe was really an R-Class shoe, I did question the name difference, but didn’t think too much about it.
Russian Pointe Shoes That Come To America Are Russian Pointe
Russian Pointe Brava: When Russian Pointe came to the United States many dancers immediately found the answer to their fitting, performance and aesthetics nightmares.
When I visited the website, I was highly impressed by their collections and their vast choices of vamps, boxes, shanks, widths and styles. They really try to have something that works for everyone which is highly commendable.
Russian Pointe Shoes That Go To Australia Are Energetiks
Energetiks Brava : Let me mourn the day when something as graceful and delicate-looking as a ballerina on stage would be wearing pointe shoes with the aerobic-shoe-esque name of Energetiks. Perhaps those mischievous energetic Australian kangaroos are behind all of this.
In my mind, this name is about as far from a graceful Russian ballerina image as one can get. Anyone who visits here regularly knows that I fret a bit about shoe names and how they make me feel. I tend to wax poetic and become highly disappointed when pretty pointe shoes don’t come with magical, soulful, imagination-stirring ballerina names.
Remember the regal days of French castles and aristocracy, Kings, Queens and names for precious ballet shoes fit for a princess. The dance imaginations of theatrical fans , like a dying rose, will wither away when romance is removed from the classical ballet story.
This triple-branding could now mean that:
- A customer who lives in Russia, but wants a Russian Pointe sole has to order from Chicago, U.S.A.
- An American that wants the Energetiks stamp on her Russian Pointes that are really R-Class needs to order from Australia
- An Australian looking for R-Class stampage ( is that a word?) on her shoes has to order from Russia
Why Do They Do This?
Why can’t an R-Class Pointe shoe be shipped as an R-Class Pointe shoe anywhere in the world like a Capezio or a Bloch ? I really don’t know. It could be a conspiracy against bloggers that like to categorize things like ballet shoes neatly and in logical order. Imagine how simple things would be if an R-Class shipped out as an R-Class anywhere in the world.
When this distribution confusion happens, my hands are tied when it comes to adding links on the sidebar for brands. If one company happens to slap different soles on the same shoe, but calls them by another name, you can understand why I can’t categorize them as different brands.
Of course, to be fair to R-Class/ Russian Pointe/ Energetiks as a manufacturer, this is most likely a business set up that lets them keep track of sales and distribution by separating their products into different names for different regions of the world. Many companies separate their products to sell under different brand names.
This modern way of doing business around the world sometimes includes pointe shoe brand names as well; a sure-fire way to keep us on our toes trying to make sense of it all.
Svetlana Lunkina, By Ирина Лепнёва (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons