Category Archives: Pointe Shoe Brands

Esmellia Japanese Pointe Shoes-Mail Order Mystery Company

Esmellia full soleWhile writing my previous post about a Tokyo-based custom pointe shoe maker, I was keeping another Japanese brand under wraps until I had as much information to share with you as I possibly could. It is both exciting and frustrating to find a new brand out there, yet one that has so little to offer in the way of specifics.

Esmellia Is An Japanese Mail Order Company Of Dance Supplies

I can honestly say that Google Translate received quite a workout as I went through the Esmellia website looking for their company history and an address. What they do advertise is the fact that they are a mail order business. They offer a simple contact email, nothing else.

There Are Two Esmellia  Pointe Shoe Variations

Esmellia features two models on their website; a **full shank and a 3/4 shank model. The full sole pictured here comes with a medium shank strength. You can see the company logo which resembles some type of  Tulip flower.

**According to the product page, the full sole model will be for sale until inventory runs out. That could mean that this shoe will end up in the discontinued grave yard.

Esmellia Is Not Active On Social Media

Unfortunately, this company doesn’t do any marketing on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites. They are somewhat of a mystery. No street address, no founder name, no clue as to what part of Japan Esmellia operates from. You can visit their official website @ To see the shoes, click on the last button under PRODUCTS on the left side.

If there are any Japanese language experts out there, I would love to know if you can find an address or company history I may have missed.


Tokyo-Based Custom Pointe Shoes By Avignon

Avignon Pointe Shoes Japan

Avignon Pointe Shoes Japan

One of the most beautiful things about the ballet world is how connected it is globally.  A dancer in New York and one at the barre in Japan maybe practicing the very same exercise using exactly the same terminology. Most pointe shoes are named not by country, but by variation, character, ballet story, or individual steps.

Thinking about this connection and different countries, my latest pointe shoe brand discovery confirmed this interesting intertwining of cultures and names.  It is the Japanese dance shop with a very French name; Avignon.

Avignon Has A Shop In The Tokyo District Of Setagaya

Avignon Shop Tokyo

Avignon Storefront

Nestled among the crowded streets of Tokyo, in the Setagaya district, is a dance shop where they make custom pointe shoes by hand to your specification.

If you are a follower of my posts, you already know how much I respect the craftsmanship of custom-made pointe shoes.

It’s nice to know there is one more manufacturer that does pointe shoes in this personalized way. These smaller shops can not only give you personalized attention, but a real working relationship with the maker of your shoes.

Although the post is very old, I enjoyed reading about one dancer’s experience with her custom Avignon shoes; Fumie’s New Pointe Shoes. The pictures are lovely.

To visit their  official website go to  Under the Home category links on the left side, choose the first one to see the shoes. Sadly, I couldn’t find any social media presence for Avignon at this time.

Katz Introduces Their New Pointe Shoe Collection

Ever since I first saw the Katz brand of soft ballet slippers, I have admired their beauty and elegance. To this day, I still find the Katz satin slipper one of the prettiest shoes on the market.  The pink ones are pure dreaminess and the white satin version reminds me of  Cinderella, sleeping beauties, fairy tales, and weddings.

Katz Has Mastered The Art Of Toe Pleating, There Is No Doubt

Katz Slipper Pink SatinAs you can notice here, the slippers have painstakingly- perfect pleating under the toes.

Whenever I would see a pair of Katz ballet slippers online, I would always wonder if or when they would ever come out with a pointe shoe. Now, they have! Their lovely shoes are produced in Thrapston, Northamptonshire England.

You Can See Them Hard At Work Making Ballet Slippers

The Katz  Pointe Shoe Collection Begins With Four Models:

  1. Katz Pointe ShoesThe Professional series with hard shank and satin platform.
  2. The Professional series with hard shank and suede platform.
  3. The Beginner series with soft shank and satin platform.
  4. The Beginner series with soft shank and suede platform.


Just like the soft slippers, I see the precision of symmetry that gives Katz ballet shoes such wonderful aesthetics. The most admirable quality about them is that they are still made entirely by hand. Across the pond. In England, precious England. Home of Covent Garden, The Royal Ballet, and other fascinating venues of dance history.

I wish the new collection much success. You can learn more about the Katz pointe shoe collection by visiting their official website,



The Repetto Alicia-Jolie Chaussure Pointe

What’s very expensive, but beautiful nonetheless? Shoes made by the classically French company Repetto. From their cute ballerina flats to their lovely satin pointe shoes, Repetto is a well-known brand for dancers and non-dancers alike.

Repetto Alicia

Repetto Alicia. A beautiful hug to the arch with 3/4 shank construction.

For many years, the only pointe shoe models that were advertised on their official website were the Juliet and the Carlotta. I almost gave up hope of finding anything new on their site.

Although Repetto came out with the Alicia in 2015, they are new to me, and possibly to you as well. According to Repetto, the Alicia model is for intermediate or advanced dancers with several years of training. It is a 3/4 shank shoe with long vamps and a medium profile.

As they say in French, these are jolie (pretty) pointe shoes.


The Mysterious Mayol Of Argentina

It’s been a long, long time since a pointe shoe discovery has left me with barely enough information to make a post. This is one of those times. I have sleuthed and surfed and searched for information about the Mayol brand for months, but haven’t been successful.

The only clue obvious from these photos is the manufacturer’s mark on the sole that says Industria Argentina. This simply means it is a product of or produced in Argentina.

Mayol Pointe Shoes

The toe box pleating is quite wide and the shoe appears to be tapered with a wide metatarsal area. The logo looks to be ink-stamped and not imprinted into the sole material.

Perhaps, this brand is a “contract shoe” for a particular dance theater or school in Argentina, I don’t know. For now,  the Mayol brand remains a complete mystery.


Siberian Swan Pointe Shoes-From Russia With Love

Ballerina wearing Siberian Swan pointe shoesI can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am to learn about another brand of Russian-made pointe shoes, the Siberian Swan brand.  I would like to thank one of my  readers for sharing the information with me.

Siberian Swan. What an amazing name. I can almost imagine the dancer floating gracefully across the stage appearing to walk on air by the very tips of her toes.

There is a mystique and a certain expectation of quality when we hear that a ballet shoe is handmade in Russia. After all, Russian ballet training produces some of the finest dancers in the world. Grace and elegance epitomizes the flowing movements of both the Russian ballerina and the swan. The comparison is perfect.

The Siberian Swan Pipeline From Russia To The U.S.A.

The company debuted in the fall of 2016 as a collaboration between a former Bolshoi dancer and the Artistic Director of The Russian State Ballet Of Siberia. Because one of the founders lives in The United States, there is an immediate opportunity for American dancers to get their hands on ( and feet into) these shoes.

Pavlova, Karsavina And Spessivtseva


Siberian Swan has named their three models in tribute of  some of the most unforgettable Russian ballerinas the world has ever known; Anna Pavlova, Tamara Karsavina and Olga Spessivtseva.

I was able to get an answer from Siberian Swan to my inquiry about the differences between the Pavlova and Karsavina. The Karsavina has a slightly wider platform than the Pavlova. They also mentioned that the Spessivtseva model is for future development, although no mention of how far in the future this will be.

Vintage Footage Of  Spessivtseva

What Makes Them Unique And Innovative

These models have some unique qualities that make them different from other pointe shoes on the market:

  • Heel Construction-The inner heel portion has a little gripper flap Siberian Swan Pointe Shoesto help hold the shoe in place. There is also an elasticized drawstring that centers at the side of the heel for extra tightening.
  • Matte Or Traditional Fabric-You can order your pointes traditionally shiny, or go for the matte pancake look.
  • Standard Or Plus Platforms-Models are constructed with either a regular platform, or a slightly larger one based on personal preference.
  • Toe Covers-You can choose to add handmade toe covers as part of your custom order.
  • Cedar Oil Protection-The models contain Siberian cedar oil extract which has healing properties to protect irritated skin.
Siberian Swan Pavlova Plus

Pavlova Plus by Siberian Swan

It’s incredible how many choices they offer so you can get exactly what you need in a pointe shoe. Another fascinating quality about this brand is that they create a traditional handmade product with a lot of  innovative tweaks.

They offer many more choices with custom colors, four widths and three shank strengths.  Learn more about the custom model options on their official website, Siberian

Russian Flag

Боже, благослови Россию

What’s also inspiring is that all these custom choices don’t cost extra. It’s obvious that a lot of thought went into creating these choices; most likely from gathering information from dancers and because the founders are/ were dancers themselves.

What I love about Siberian Swan is that it is all about the shoe. No hundreds of categories of fluffy dance stuff, just gorgeous Russian-made pointe shoes.

Siberian Swan continues to innovate the design and construction of their brand. As quoted below from co-founder Alex Kedrov when speaking about their vision, they intend to perfect their design for the benefit of every dancer who needs the ultimate pointe shoe.

Taking quite a lot of experiments, and engineering to ensure support, durability, and the elegance at the same time. Another important thing, as you know, is ability to roll through the demi-pointe, so the pointe shoes are flexible enough while rolling through the demi-pointe, and strong enough to provide sufficient support while on pointe. Our shank is made of special plastic, so the shoes don’t need to be broken in. Active arch support on top of the plastic shank is our technology patented in Russia to provide support for ballerina underneath the heel while on pointe, so the weight is not on the toes only. It is incredibly interesting process.”


You can visit Siberian Swan on Facebook where they have more photos and updates of their shoe debuts/ fittings across the country. What do you think? Should we get excited?  I wish Siberian Swan much success with their company.


*2/25/18 Update: Comments are now closed due to excessive amounts of spam


The Mayer BX1 By Studio Danza

Mayer BX1Recently, I made a single model discovery of an Italian pointe shoe with the interesting name Mayer BX1. To my old-fashioned ears, this sounds more like the name of a dirt bike or motorcycle, but that is just my ballet-shoes-should-have-girly-names preference.

The shoe is sold by a company named  Studio Danza in Casagiove, Italy. What’s interesting about their official website is that they not only sell their own model, but other pointe brands like Freed and Grishko.

The Mayer BX1  Is Supposed To Last 3-5 Times Longer Than A Traditional Paste  Pointe Shoe

Mayer BX1 SoleThis ultra-modern pointe shoe is constructed with a special type of flexible paste that has little to no break-in time and a sole design that immediately hugs the arch. According to the specifications, the BX1  paste material creates a moisture barrier that prevents it from breaking down as quickly as traditional pointe shoes. Like Gaynor Minden, the BX1 has shock absorbing thermoplastic toe boxes.

Studio Danza has a modern looking website.  They offer several categories of online PDF catalogs, but if you want to see the Mayer BX1, you can visit this link to the shoe PDF and scroll down to page 8.  You can also visit Studio Danza on their Facebook page.


Aux Fleurons De La Danse Of Paris

aux fleurons de la danse shop paris

Aux Fleurons De La Danse Paris shop front

In my world, few things ballet-related tug at my heartstrings more than the image of a solitary cobbler working quietly at his bench constructing a pointe shoe. Even though many reputable manufacturers employ large numbers of cobblers, there is something really beautiful about the lone pointe shoe maker who runs his own little shop servicing the individual needs of one dancer at a time.

Somewhere in the heart of downtown Paris, France is ( or was) such a shop. Here, a dancer could come in and have her pointe shoes made especially for her by Monsieur Dimitri Angelakov .

Who Is Dimitri Angelakov ?

From my hours researching the background of Monsieur Angelakov, I found only  bits and pieces of  his legacy online. There is a patent for the business name from the 1970’s. He is mentioned fondly on a French dance forum and on Facebook.

I don’t know his nationality or the journey he took to learn the craft of pointe shoe making. What I do know is that he was a very special man to the dancers who relied on him for their custom-made pointe shoes in that section of Paris.

Aux Fleurons De La Danse Translated Means:  The Jewels Of The Dance

There is something so beautifully personal about the relationship between a pointe shoe maker and his client. The care and love that goes into making each shoe is obvious in the video.

Each layer, each pleat, every brush of glue and turn of satin is gently and patiently tended with the delicate touch of an artist.

 These precious artisans are tucked away in obscure places, yet mean so much to the traditions of ballet.

As I write this, I am not 100% sure that Monsieur Angelakov is still here.  The last activity noted for Aux Fleurons De La Danse on Facebook was in 2011.  The web domain for his business,, expired last month.

Monsieur Angelakov in his shop

Although custom-made pointe shoes are available online, nothing can compare to knowing and talking to the person who makes your shoes. If Monsieur Angelakov has indeed gone to that big cobbler shop in the sky, somewhere on the streets of Paris walks many a broken-hearted dancer.



Janas Pointe By Rudoph

Map of Italy

Cagliari is on the southern tip of Sardinia

If you were a ballet dancer and happened to live on the Italian island of Sardinia, what type of dance supply shops would you have access to? If you happened to live in the vicinity of Cagliari, you could request a catalog from Rudolph’s to browse through in between rehearsals.

Some Company Tidbits

Since its founding in 2004, Rudolph has been the main supplier of Grishko pointe shoes on the island. Rudolph is a distributor that appears to only do business through online sales. It’s hard to say if they would allow a local customer into the warehouse for a personal fitting or not.

The company history makes no mention about the founder. Online research shows that the main website is registered to Alessandro Dessi, but that doesn’t mean he created the Rudolph company.

What Makes Rudolph Unique

Rudolph LogoAfter so many blog posts and years of research about pointe shoe manufacturing, I have learned that many companies begin with their own models, but start offering competitor brands that are more popular or mainstream with dancers.

Rudolph did it the other way around. As you can see on their official website,, the featured shoes are all Grishko models.  In January of this year, Rudolph decided to create their own model; Janas.

What’s So Special About The Janas Pointe Shoe?

Janas pointe by RudolphAccording to the debut advertising, the Janas pointe is strictly a professional shoe that combines a very lightweight construction with a flexible sole. The shoe is created with plastic polymer materials making it one of those “high-tech” pointe shoes.

It has a slightly tapered toe box with a u-shaped vamp. It is made to maintain  elasticity which means that it can bounce back without breaking down. One of the most interesting features is the mention of enhanced aesthetics because of the color.

Rudolph has it featured on its own separate website, Janaspointe.

The Janas pointe is described as a pinky-tan shade and slightly matte. This is supposed to make them blend in with tights giving the dancer a longer, leaner leg. I won’t start freaking out about this anti-satin-shine conspiracy just yet, but am aware that Chacott is also touting pinky-tan blend-able pointes of their own.

Long Live Lustrous, Lovely Shiny Pink Satin Ballet Shoes!

Okay, now that I have calmed down, I can proceed. I am tickled that we can see these shoes live on a video.  I wish every brand took  the time to do this.

To my eyes, the vamps look longer in this video than they do in the pictures. What do you think? They look like very pretty traditional paste shoes, but I see shiny satin instead of the advertised matte finish. 

I was thinking about the name of these shoes and how it relates to ballet. What is the meaning of the name Janas? According to one page on, the name is linked to creativity, boldness, high aspirations, energy and action. That sounds ballet-inspired to me.  * Read more about this topic on a previous post, Pointe Shoe Models-Does The Name Matter?

Feel free to comment and let me  know what you think about these shoes. Learn more about Rudolph on Facebook @ Rudolf Store Cagliari




Ditas Pointe Shoes From The Czech Republic

Being an American that has never traveled overseas to Europe makes researching tDitas Pointe Shoeshe production of pointe shoe brands in that region quite an exotic and brain-stimulating experience. I feel a bit like Christopher Columbus sailing around making discoveries once hidden from the rest of us, but now no longer a secret.

So far on the sidebar links we have brands from Italy, Germany, France, England, Spain, Holland and Austria. Now, we have another country to add; The Czech Republic and the Ditas brand name. I am thrilled to find a Czechoslovakian pointe shoe brand.

Some Information About Ditas

This dancewear company is located in the heart of Prague.  They began production of their garments and shoes in 1991. According to their About Page, they supply many theatrical venues in and around the country; including The National Theatre of Prague.

It appears that Ditas has one advertised model in pink satin, although the catalog mentions that they take custom orders for shoes in beige, black or white. Although I am slightly disappointed about the lack of specifications on their pointe model, it hasn’t burst my discovery bubble.

I searched high and low for any social media accounts for Ditas, but couldn’t find any. You can find their interesting product catalog on their official website,