Category Archives: Pointe Shoe Brands

Arcotte Muse J Pointe Shoes From Japan

Muse pointe shoes  JapanIt is an understatement to say this brand from Japan was a thrill to find. It reconfirmed for me that there is always something new brewing out there in pointe shoe world. The Muse J title differentiates the model from the Russian Pointe Muse because the J stands for Japan. There is also that beautiful touch of  delicate artistry that the Japanese do with perfection.

The Sole Design Is Both Artistic And Informational

The first thing I noticed about the sole design was the imprinting of what appears to be birds in flight. Muse J  pointe shoes from JapanLovely, light, graceful in flight. The epitome of a ballerina. The second thing that stands out are the six model specifications that tell you everything you need know for a customized fit. Two are size, then width, shank strength, sole hardness, then box type.

When I look at the pretty images of these shoes, my collector alarm doesn’t stop ringing. I find them absolutely fascinating. I cannot imagine what retirement would be like for an out-of-control collector. No food, just boiled shanks and an occasional ribbon for lunch.

There Are A Few Mysteries To Solve About The Arcotte Brand Name

Muse J pointe shoesAccording to the Arcotte About page, the brand was created as a collaboration between a ballet dancer and an experienced shoemaker with 50-plus years of making dance shoes.

I spent an incredible amount of time trying to find their names and photos, but didn’t have any luck. The name Naoto Takahashi is mentioned as Shopkeeper on the About page, but makes no mention of whether he designs the shoes or not.

Who is Naoto Takahashi? Who is the ballet dancer that conjured up  this pretty brand? It will take 時間と忍耐 ( time and patience). Hopefully I will be able to find out more soon.

It is wonderful to see a brand on video like this.

According to their product page, the Muse J pointe shoe is a made to order model that takes 3-4 weeks for delivery. Dancers can choose from 4 widths, 3 types of shanks, 3 types of sole hardness, and 3 types of boxes. All of these different choices enable the company to construct a pointe shoe that has 108 different configurations.

Even if you can’t read Japanese, it is interesting to visit the Arcotte Shop page to see their products. You can also visit Arcotte on Facebook.

Merlet’s Newest Pointe Models-Cloé, Lisa, And Crystal

Merlet of France has always had a special place on this blog. Unlike other brands, they appear to be staying true to their roots and country of origin. They continue to grow and expand their pointe collection as well. On my most recent visit to their website, I found three lovely new additions to their model collection; Cloé, Crystal, and Lisa.

The Cloé Model Offers Flexible Strength

Cloé by Merlet

Besides coming in a wide range of colors, the description of the sole was highly intriguing to me. According to Merlet, the sole is made from something called kryptonite.

For those of us of a certain age, kryptonite sounds like the stuff that gave Superman his powers back in the day.

Specifications

  • Described as a full-sole, low-vamped model with superior flexibility.
  • Comes with a soft microfiber insole for comfort.
  • Created to assist the dancer from demi-pointe to pointe with ease.

The Lisa Model Is Designed To Last

Lisa by Merlet

One of the most wonderful things about the Merlet Company is how many accessories they include when you purchase one of their shoe models directly from them online. This includes their newest shoe, the Lisa.

The Lisa model was designed to be a long lasting workhorse of a shoe, but with lovely aesthetics and practical reinforcements.

Specifications

  • Comes with interchangeable shanks to prolong the viability and support of the shoe.
  • Reinforced wings and toe box for stability and strength.
  • Made from eco-friendly fabrics that are kinder to the environment.

The Many Beautiful Shades Of The Merlet Crystal

According to Merlet, the Crystal model is made from the same last as their Cloé model. It comes in many gorgeous shades to match any costume or variation requirement. Just looking at this lineup will make any pointe shoe collector start counting her Euros.

Dancers can choose from Navy, Violine, Violet, Lie de Vin, Rouge, Red, Corail, Mirabelle, Beige, or Ivoire. The shade Corail ( 4th from the right) is an absolute beauty. Which one is your favorite?

Made in Limoges, France

First of all, I would like to say thank you , Merlet, for not outsourcing yourself to other countries. It is much more satisfying for the researchers soul when every product in the world doesn’t come from the same old place, oui? Hunting for the actual factory where these beauties are manufactured took little recherche as Merlet is very thorough with information.

A Look Inside The Merlet Pointe Shoe Factory

For any pointe shoe brand aficionado, visiting some of these factories would be a dream come true. Imagine being invited to watch all of these pretty Merlet models being made from start to finish. Un rêve devenu réalité, oui?

See the newest pointe models from Merlet here.

BBM Danza Pointe Shoes From Italy-Bellissime Scarpe Da Punta

Do you know what I really love? Finding a brand so lovely that it makes me happy I created this blog.  I absolutely love learning about new brands and this one is no exception. Another  gorgeous Italian pointe shoe brand can now be added to the sidebar. Italy is so full of beautiful brands that you can probably smell the bolts of satin as you arrive from overseas.

The BBM Danza Company Offers A   Few Mysteries To Solve

According to their official website, the company address appears to be located in an industrial park in Naples, Italy. After a long diligent search, I located a  storefront/ warehouse image at this address on Google Maps:

27 Viale Balzano Francesco, Torre Del Greco, NA 80059, Italy

BBM Location Naples Italy Now for the most mysterious parts:  Who is Bianca Buonandi? It makes sense that these pretty pointe shoes have BB in the title, but what does the M stand for in BBM? Was she a former dancer?

After a long and diligent search, I finally found the name BIANCA BUONANDI MORVILLO listed on a Dance Shoe Directory in Naples.  On an interesting note, Triunfo is included in the description as well. Below is the Google translate version of the directory description:

Teatro San Carlo, Naples, Italy

Teatro San Carlo, Naples, Italy, Viva-Verdi / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

NAPLES DANCE SHOE –B.B.M. di Bianca Buonandia: professional line of shoes, tights BBM, B.B.M., DANCE, DANCE, BALLET, TORRE DEL GRECO, NAPLES, BIANCA, BUONANDI, MORVILLO, PRODUCTION factory, triunfo dance shoes factory, dance shoes, dance shoe.

Hopefully we are correct to assume that B.B.M. stands for Bianca Buonandi Morvillo.  However, the only reference to a  Bianca Morvillo based in Italy is a Triathlete. Is it her? I don’t know. I have decided to let it be for awhile.

The Lovely BBM Danza Models

Are you ready for this list? I hope you have a comfortable chair because it is quite lengthy. Along with my own observations, any detailed descriptions were acquired using Google Translate. All of the models are constructed with non-toxic glue.

BBM Pre PointePre Pointe- Pre-pointes are always interesting because they are controversial. Some ballet teachers put their students in Pre-pointes, some do not. Even so, many brands offer a Pre-pointe model; including BBM Danza. They are described as a soft-sole training shoe for developing the instep during barre exercises.


Studio Basic-This one is a beauty, don’t you think? I love the colors of the Italian flag on the heel seam.  The Studio Basic comes with a wide range of options that lets you chose the width of the shoe as well as the reinforcement level of the sole.  This one would be a treasure to add to my collection.


Aurora 08-The Aurora 08 appears to be created for dancers that need a wider metatarsal area in their shoes. From the photo, you can see that this model appears to have a higher profile, slightly smaller platform, and a more tapered box. Like the Studio Basic, the heel liner area has the colors of the Bandiera d’Italia .


BBM Contempora-AContempora A- What do you think? Have you ever danced or trained in 3/4 pointe shoes before? Typically, 3/4 soles or shanks are for dancers that have strong feet. These are beautifully shaped.

What I find interesting about these types of pointe shoes is that they didn’t exist in my area of the East coast U.S.A. back in the olden days.

 


BBM Contempora BContempora B- Here is the lovely split-sole model for maximum arch enhancement. Unlike the A version, this model gives you a bit of traction in the heel area. That patch of leather can help keep that part of the shoe from wearing out too fast.

Like the other Contempora model, it offers less bulk in the arch area so your feet can pointe beautifully. Pointe shoes that are designed this way are chosen for both their aesthetics as well as their function.

 

 


BBM FF ArcuateFF Arcuate- The FF Arcuate is their pretty pre-arched model. Not only are they beautiful, they are a pointe shoe collector’s dream.

Nowhere in the realm of pointe shoe land will you find another model with the name FF Arcuate. I love it !


BBM KitriKitri- The Kitri is one of those ready-for-dance pointe shoes. Not only do the suede-covered toe boxes provide a bit of extra traction, they prevent  that “shredded toe box” look.

The best part about these shoes is the insole. Described as a Flexy insole with maximum bend capacity, the chances of hearing that dreaded snap sound are greatly reduced.


BBM Symphony 1Symphony 1- Can you hear the ballet music? You might if you are wearing beautiful pointe shoes with the inspiring name of Symphony 1.

Looking at the photo, the shoes appear to be low-profile tapered models. What do you think?


BBM Pointe Shoe For MenBBM Men’s Pointe

Men doing pointe work is a controversial topic, but whether we agree or disagree, many dancewear companies offer a male version in their collection.

The BBM men’s model is described as being made just for the masculine foot. It is a wider, reinforced shoe with leather soles and made of  black satin.


Now that we have come to the end of the collection, we can celebrate adding another beautiful Italian brand to the sidebar. Hopefully with time and luck we can learn more about Bianca Buonandi and what inspired the creation of this brand.

For more, visit the BBM Danza pointe shoe page. You can also find BBM Danza on Facebook.


B.B.M. di Bianca Buonandi
Viale F. Balzano, 27 – 80059 Torre del Greco, Naples,  Italy

Gökçe Aykut Pointe Shoes- The Turkish Gaynor Mindens?

Gökçe Aykut Pointe Shoes

Gökçe Aykut Pointe Shoes, Izmir

Gökçe Aykut  (pronounced Goke-chay Ay-cut ) pointe shoes are an interesting brand that I stumbled upon one day while browsing through Facebook.

The first thing that caught my eye was the sleek, smooth aesthetics reminiscent of the Gaynor Minden brand. The second thing that I found captivating was the unique spin on promotion and photography this company uses. Visit the gallery page on the company website to see their contemporary  photo montage. * Other parts of the website are very glitchy*

Gökçe Aykut Pointe Shoes Gökçe Aykut Is The Woman Behind The Brand

From the very best I can decipher using Google translate, the founder is described as a 1999 graduate of a prominent University in Turkey, who then went on to create her own line of pointe shoes.

I wish I had more to share with you, but unfortunately, there is little information about her that I could find online.

Pointe Shoe Specifications

This brand is made in Izmir, Turkey making them a genuine Turkish pointe shoe brand.  Because the official website is very image based, the specifications were better listed in detail on a retailer site. Gökçe Aykut has two models that are simply called :

  • Pointe Shoe No. 1 – Medium vamp, high heel, 3 shank strengths of Hard, Medium, or Flexible.
  • Pointe Shoe No. 2 – Deep vamp, high heel, 3 shank strengths of Hard, Medium, or Flexible.

To see the full list of specifications for both models, you can visit the sales page on Parazitka.com.

A Side By Side Comparison Of Gökçe Aykut On The Left Vs. Gaynor Minden On The Right – What Do You Think? Close, No?

Similarities- Constructed of non-traditional materials, seamless appearance, lack of pleating under the toe box, inner hidden drawstring on the side, no-slip platform.

Differences– Gökçe Aykut pointe shoes come with leather board shanks and are handmade. G.M. pointe shoes have polymer shanks. Another huge difference is price. Listed as 60,000 Euros, that makes them approximately 64.00 U.S. dollars. Gaynor Minden’s are usually twice that much.

I would like to say that I am thrilled to be adding a Turkish brand to the sidebar. I wish the Gökçe Aykut  Company good success and happy dancing for its customers.

Gökçe Aykut on Facebook

Iovine Ignazio Pointe Shoes From Naples-Hand-Crafted Vintage Collectibles

There are so many beautiful brands of pointe shoes that come from Italy!  I cant think of a time when I saw an Italian model that wasn’t lovely in construction and quality.  Finding these Iovine Ignazio lovelies was such a joy. They have entered into the realm of the highly collectible as it appears their manufacturing days are long over.

 

The IOVINE IGNAZIO brand is one of those super-fascinating treasured mysteries that can make a pointe shoe lover spend hours and hours searching for any tidbit of information they can find. However, thanks to a responsive family member, I was able to wrap up my search in good time.

Iovine Ignazio Pointe ShoesWhat I Was Able To Discover:

They were hand-crafted in Naples, Italy.  Napoli is what the Italians  call Naples. The old company url,  http://www.iovineignazio.com/index1.htm,  was last crawled by Google in 2007.

On the bottom of the bag you can see di Iovine Espedito. That led me to their current company, GlovesIovine. I am very fortunate that the nephew of Iovine Ignazio, Marco, responded to me on Facebook. Yes, it’s true. His uncle’s factory closed down.

What we have now are vintage, discontinued hand-crafted Italian pointe shoes that are a collectors dream.

Gloves Iovine on Facebook

Akces Pointe Shoes-Handmade In Kraków, Poland

Made in Poland-Akces pointe shoes

MADE IN POLAND

Can anything be more exciting than finding a unique pointe shoe brand on the other side of the globe? For me, the answer is no.

Not only does a new brand gain a spot on the list here, it provides a real education on design and perspective from country to country.

The shoes are manufactured in Kraków and list the address of their main headquarters as 8a Gościnna street 30-698 Krakow

The company makes many different types of shoes, including the Classic Pointe, Model V, and Elastic Vamp.

 

What Makes Akces Pointe Shoes Interesting And Unique

One of the things that caught my eye about this brand is the model with the elastic vamp. Not many ( if any) ready-to-wear pointe shoes come with an elasticated insert in the vamp.

Akces Classic Pointe Shoes

After reading the specifications of each model, it appears that all the shoes have one basic construction form, then are named based on the type of vamp they offer. The Classic has a u-shaped vamp, and the V has the obvious v-shaped vamp.

According to Google-translated specifications on each model, they come in five colors: White, Black, Pink, Nude, and Ecru. Other colors can be custom ordered. Shanks are available in 0-4 levels of hardness, and are constructed in narrow to very wide widths.

Akces Unisex Pointe Shoes

Akces Unisex Pointe Shoe

They are one of the rare companies that offer a male version, although it could be the V model, but in Black.

I found this model featured under the unisex category of pointe shoes on Tanecznysklep.pl.

 

Who would like to try and pronounce that website name?

The Company History Reads Like A Saga Of Heroism And Survival

Akces began in 1940 by a 12-year-old boy named Marian Proficz and his brother. From a humble family farmhouse, the company grew and expanded into many different brands that are well-known for their range of dance shoes and accessories. You can read this inspiring story in English on their About Us page.

Akces Has Many Different Websites And Divisions

Akces has multiple websites that are linked together and they also have a Facebook page. I give kudos to them for having an English version! Their main website is Akces.biz. From there, the company lists all their various brand names and corresponding websites.

The beauty of this company is that they still operate on the same property where it all began so many decades ago. It is now in the hands of the founders son.

To go straight to their pointe shoe sales page, visit Akcesdance.pl/pointy.

or visit Akces Dance on Facebook.

 

Pas De Deux Pointe Shoes- A Green Approach To Ballet Waste

Do you hate waste?  Apparently, this very new French brand, Pas De Deux, does  too. Inspired by the mountains of used pointe shoes that are tossed away by The Paris Opera Ballet, they decided to offer an alternative choice for dancers; pointe shoes constructed of organic recycled materials.

I stumbled upon this brand by accident on Facebook and find their Eco-friendly, green approach to pointe shoe making as contemporary and futuristic as using  high-tech materials.  The truth is, all of those tossed out pointe shoes from professional companies have to go somewhere.

This company is so new, they don’t have a website yet.  The company debuted in early April 2019 on Facebook.  At the moment, they are using a Google Form to take orders. Because of this, I will hold off adding them to the sidebar.

Finding Pas De Deux and their concept made me think about something I rarely consider; just how long does it take for a pointe shoe to decompose at the landfill? It makes you think, doesn’t it?

I really look forward to a fully designed website ( if they are planning one) with an About Page and detailed specifications on the shoe models. I want  to learn more about the man in the video, the model names, and the location in Paris where they are made.

How do you feel about the subject of waste when it comes to pointe shoes? Should we even try to make a dent in how the planet is affected by the vast amounts of used shoes dance theaters have to throw away?

Pas de Deux Pointes on Facebook

UPDATE  FRIDAY, MAY 23, 2019 – The video that was posted above went blank, so it was removed. Their Facebook page has also vanished. They may be blocking viewers, restyling their brand, or have already gone out of business.

Perros Louis Vintage Pointe Shoes From France

Am I a collector’s item? Oui! Oui!

Long ago and far away in the romantic city of Paris, there was a dance shop named Perros.

It was located in a busy section of the city that to this day is still a major  thoroughfare for pedestrians and vehicle traffic.

One day, the shop closed its doors and the precious inventory of dance shoes would become a part of ballet history instead.

French Ballet Shoe Memorabilia With A Bit Of Provenance

vintage Perros pointe shoes

Its unusual to see a pointe shoe sole imprinted with an address.

If you have an eye for dance shoe collectibles, it’s always wonderful when you can get a full, interesting “provenance” with your purchase.

One very obvious place to start digging for some provenance is the address imprinted on the sole.

It was thrilling to discover that the storefront of 61 Rue Monge still exists today.

It is now an upscale beauty spa called Mani Kua.  Okay, I admit that I went through the picture gallery of the salon trying to imagine it filled with cobbler benches and tools and glue and satin fabric. Unfortunately, time  ( and an interior redo) has erased all traces of ballet-coated  D.N.A..

Surely I am not so far gone as to think there could have been an old, dusty  pointe ribbon hanging from the rafters in a back room? Maybe I  thought I would see the faint outline of a pink toe box peeking out from a cobweb under a lobby chair.

Coming Back To Reality And The Findings Of My Research:

  1. There is nothing available online about the closing date of the business.
  2.  The only page  on the web that mentions Perros,  shoe making and Paris altogether is located on this outdated business listing @ https://www.societe.com/societe/perros-louis-bottier-784247983.html
  3. It is unknown whether Perros is his first name or last name. The Bottier name may be a title of occupation.   Translated from French to English, bottier means boot maker.

How lucky is the person that may own a pair of this rare brand! If I had a pair of these pointe shoes, would I sell them? As they say in French…… non, jamais!

 

 

Art Line Pointe Shoes From Indonesia

Artline pointe shoesWhat comes in cute descriptive colors like baby purple  or red racy ones like merah ? Pointe shoes from the Bandung area of Indonesia called  Art Line. They are intriguing and colorful to look at, but at the same time, almost impossible to learn about.

Why?  The featuring website needs a little bit of tender loving care. Unfortunately, there are missing images, broken links, and out of focus models that make it difficult to see the crisp details of this brand.

Product specifications are missing, so there is no clue about fit, function, or sizes. The concept of  manufacturing a stock pointe shoe that comes in eleven colors is a wonderful idea.  Competing with big brands that offer custom shades like Grishko is not so wonderful.

Featured On Dballetshop.com, They Are Sold With More Well Known Models From Grishko And Bloch

The colorful satiArtline pointe shoes Goldn points with matching toe tips are pretty to look at, but what really interests me is the unique liner logo. It’s a bit fuzzy here, but the liner logo shows a ballet dancer on pointe with the word Artline above her head.

If you visit the product page of their green model and hover over the image, it shows up better than the photos here.

Twitter bird on branch

on vacation

The Art Line brand is indeed baffling. The models ( or model) have no specifications; not even a price. The Facebook link is broken as well. Their Twitter link stills works, but it appears that it’s been quite a while since the last Tweet.  I think I will hold off adding this brand to the sidebar.

It’s hard to predict what will happen to a brand when their website is left to gather dust bunnies.  I will be the optimist here : if the domain name is still on the Internet, there is hope. What do you think?

 

Flickr.com, CreativeTools.se – Twitter bird standing on branch – Close-up, Cropped to fit, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Edoardo Colacrai Pointe Shoes-Vintage Memorabilia

Edoardo Colacrai Pointe ShoesOne of the most interesting types of pointe shoe brands are those created by principal dancers;  be they male or female. Sometimes we never learn about these dancers until we discover their brand on the market.

Such is the case with these fascinating Edoardo Colacrai pointes, or puntas. Edoardo Colacrai was a principal dancer for the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy; one of the finest and oldest opera houses  in the world.

He had a long career as a ballerino ( as they say in Italy). It appears that Mr. Colacrai was at the height of his dance career from the 1970’s through the 1990’s. Porcelli, a top-quality Italian Manufacturer, has a lovely pointe shoe model named Colacrai.

The last mention of his name in connection with ballet dates back to the early 1990’s. His name was archived on World Catalog.org as the 1990 author of an article about the Teatro alla Scala.

Of course, as luck would have it, the most fascinating pointe shoe finds have the least information.

On an Italian ballet forum thread from 2008, dancers discuss the fit and performance of his brand of soft slippers. I couldn’t find any specific information about the production dates of his pointe shoes. I spent hours searching for the soft slippers as well.

Edoardo Colacrai Pointe ShoesAt least we can get some satisfaction Google-translating what the words on the packaging might mean in English.

On the shoe bag, the large white sticker reads Cucite A Mano, or made by hand.

Approximately mid-center you can see a website address and contact email. The domain name puntashoes.com is an interesting mix of Italian and English, but returns a not-found error message online. I think it would be vain hope to try the email address at this time.

The Tag Appears To Be Break-In Instructions, Not Specifications

Edoardo Colacrai pointe shoe tagExercise on pointe

Relevés in I, II, V position. Music tempo 4/4

They are performed with two hands at the bar and after eight lessons, in the center.

On the first quarter demi-plié. On the second quarter climb on the tips passing from the half-tip, on the third quarter to go down in demi-plié always passing by half-tip , on the fourth quarter stretch out your knees. Perform eight relevés in each position.

Edoardo Colacrai passed away in 2012. His Facebook page is still published, but  is very sparse.  A friend and former dance partner created a humble, but loving memorial video of him on You-tube.

It’s fascinating when male dancers create their own brand of pointe shoes during their dance career; like Mikhail Baryshnikov did. The Punta brand by Edoardo Colacrai is a beautiful collectors item.  It now lives as precious ballet shoe memorabilia that honors his memory.

Rest in peace, Mr. Colacrai.