One of the things that makes this site such a pleasure is knowing that I can access all of the different brands of pointe shoes in the world in a few easy clicks. As I go to look for any new models by these companies, the last thing I want to see is their shoe pages putting their own brand last and giving prominence to models from Bloch, Capezio, Grishko, and Freed.
Dancers Seem To Crave Popular Name Brands
The romance is gone at the thought that every single dance supply company in the world is going to reduce their own lovely models to promote only these brands. Yes, they are excellent brands, but outfitting the entire world of ballet on just Freed, Grishko, Russian Pointe, Suffolk, Bloch, and Capezio is a tad boring, no?
Watching A Pointe Shoe Manufacturer Downsize Is Heartbreaking
Of course my opinion stems from the vantage point of writing and researching about brands. If there were only 6 brands to write about, this blog would have shriveled up years ago. Because of the Internet, dance supplies are always in flux. The next generation of ballet dancers expect to see innovative changes with every new catalog.
Pointe Shoe Brands That Are Now In Danger
I think I mentioned that from time to time I do a thorough “link visit” on the sidebar. I look for new shoe models and for broken links. It was during my latest visit that I noticed the following changes:
The Reart TRS Model Is Hanging On By A Ribbon
The Reart TRS model is the last surviving one of the Reart brand collection. In this post from 2010, you can see that there were six models to choose from at the time. Now there is one lonely only.
What happened? Did more and more customers come in asking for the mainstream brands? Perhaps the company lost their precious cobbler. Did they want to have the ability to supply theaters and schools? We may never know.
What we do know is that one Reart model has survived; the TRS. Why? I decided to re-check the specs on this model for clues. It was created for dancers that have strong feet. It comes with hard shanks and long vamps.
The Etirel Cygne Has Flown Away
On a recent visit to the Etirel-Intersport website, I found that the Cygne model has vanished like a Swan in flight. Truthfully, I am not surprised. I haven’t checked the website for a very log time.
However, it is disappointing to have to remove the brand from the side bar and add it to the discontinued models link. You can read the original post about Intersport of France here.
Freddy Of Italy Has Gone Soft
I was absolutely captivated by this brand when I found them way back in 2o10. I thought they were beautifully shaped and had the earmark of Italian quality.
It was a shocker to see that all 9 models are gone from the collection. Although Freddy stills offers a few soft slipper models, they seem to be more focused on athletic clothing and shoes. You can revisit the old Freddy Pointe Shoes post from 2010 to see the 9 models they used to have.
The Stanlowa Etude Is In Danger
I can still remember the thrill of finding this beautiful brand of pointe shoes. In my original post, there were two models; the Etude and the Soliste.
Now down to just the Etude, the Stanlowa website is featuring, yes, you guessed it, Bloch, Freed, Grishko, and Russian Pointe. However, on a positive note, I give credit to Stanlowa for featuring their Etude model upfront and first in the lineup. Ttrès bon. The Stanlowa pointes page.
The Bloch-Leo Disappeared From The Bloch Website
Back in the days, Leo was its own brand and company. Then, Leo merged with Bloch. This merger created an interesting confusion in my mind about what to call the merged brand.
The Leo was featured on Bloch’s website for some time. Now, it appears to have done a flying Jeté to places unknown. Simply put, Bloch has so many of its own models, the poor Leo couldn’t compete. Read about the Bloch-Leo-Mirella merger.
The Curtain Went Down On The Theatre Ballet Brand
I was absolutely fascinated when I discovered this brand back in 2012. It was thrilling to see beautiful Russian-inspired construction from a dancer-owned company based in New Jersey.
It was highly disappointing to check the link and learn that the domain was up for sale. How fickle and challenging the world of pointe shoe brands is. Even though I had gripes about my previous attempts at contacting the company, it didn’t make the brand any less fascinating. See the post about Theatre Ballet Pointe Shoes from 2012.
So, Who Or What Is To Blame?
Unfortunately, the disappearing brands are something I will always have to deal with. Even though ballet itself is a longstanding tradition, changing needs call for changing products. It is expensive to run a factory and hire workers, so profits are a must.
Profits come from stocking and selling the type of brands and models that are in demand and popular. However, nobody said we can’t complain about it. Pointe work has been around for hundreds of years now and it survived without all of this inventory.
Easy online access and international trade brings mainstream brands to the furthest corners of the world.For some, change is inevitable. For others, change is a bit of a mini-trauma. It is a stark reminder that even good things come to an end. And in my heart of hearts, I always want to see these brands succeed. It is a sad thing when they don’t.