Category Archives: Italian Brands

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

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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, Rudolphdanza.it, 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 Sevenreflections.com, 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

 

 

Colombo Pointe Shoes From Italy-A Family Legacy

Colombo pointe shoes

The 455 Carbon Sole Model

Do you know what is just as interesting as finding a new brand of pointe shoe? Learning that manufacturers have been alive and well making ballet shoes for decades and decades without any knowledge on our part. I have so much admiration for the craft of handmade  ballet shoes. I love finding those hidden gems of makers that have passed on the tradition to their children and grandchildren.

Making Pointe Shoes In Milan, Italy For 100 Years

It all started in the small town of Gorgonzola, Italy, a small area of Milan. The company was established in 1915 by a craftsman named Agostino Beretta. You can see a picture of him at age 70 here. The company was known as Beretta at that time.

During World War II, Mr. Beretta was reduced to repairing shoes until better times could come along. Between 1960 and 1967, the company grew to export ballet shoes to many countries like England, Holland and Africa.

In 1967, Mr. Beretta’s daughter Tina joined the business. From there, her son Colombo Fabio took the reins in 1989.

Agostino died in 1977. He left a lasting legacy with his contribution to the performing arts. His dedication to crafting quality dancing shoes by hand is something every ballet lover can admire and respect.

The Making Of Colombo Pointe Shoes

 

Colombo Offers 7 Different Models:

  • 449-For beginners as a first pointe shoe. Made with a softer box, reinforced wings and more flexible soles.
  • 450-For professionals with a hard toe box and medium-strength shank.
  • 451-For professionals with a hard toe box and hard shanks.
  • 452-For professionals with extra-hard shanks.
  • 453-For professionals with a softer shank and more flexibility.
  • 454-An intermediate model created as a transition shoe between demi-pointe and pointe. ( Interesting!)
  • 455-Professional model with carbon sole insert for strength and flexibility. This is their newest model.

They come in six colors; pink, salmon pink, white, black, red and blue. You can view the sales and specifications page here. It is in Italian, but that is molto bene if you enjoy looking at belle scarpe da punta.

Sadly, I couldn’t locate the company on any social media sites. There are no company Facebook or Twitter accounts that I know of.

Their official website link is Colomboitalia.xoom.it.


Antares Dance Line Pointe Shoe From Italy

Flickr.com, Italian Flag by Ed Yourdon, no modifications, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/There are many people the world over that admire the craftsmanship of Italian shoes. Italy dominates the world of high fashion designer footwear. Some people actually travel to Italy once a year to attend fashion shows and purchase Italian-made shoes.

As far as cobblers pride and striving for quality first, Italian-made footwear products are at the top of the list; that includes pointe shoes. Speaking of Italian brands,  we can now add a model by Antares of Italy to our list!

 The Antares Dance Line Company

The Antares Company has its headquarters in Monza, Italy, not far from the border of Switzerland. They own and operate an ultra-trendy dance shop and have been in business since the 1980’s . Antares has a wide selection of professional dance shoes, costumes and accessories. Their shoe designs are beautiful; especially the metallic embellished styles in their VIP Collection.

Antares pointe shoe

Italian model Antares

After making an inquiry about their pointe model through their Facebook page, they were gracious enough to respond to me.

Grazie, Antares.

According to Andrea Antares, the model is manufactured by them  in Italy.

It can be custom designed for either a beginner or a professional. 

The model featured here appears to have high sides, a u-shaped vamp, a low profile and a wide, but narrow platform. It has beautiful aesthetics.

A Real Passion For Dance

One of the first things I noticed about this company is that you can feel their high energy and passion for all things dance. You can see it in the company photos. You can feel it through the decor of their shop in Monza.

This Italian shoe-business listing site has wonderful photos of the Antares shop, some products and company members; Negozi de Scarpa Italy.

You can learn more about their dance products by visiting their official website, Scarpeantares.it.  Click on Scarpe Donna, then go to Classica under the Non Solo Latina category to see the pointe shoe and ballet slipper.

Visiting the Antares Dance Line page on Facebook gives you a great idea of the exciting apparel they offer the dance world.

 

Flag photo: Flickr.com, Italian Flag by Ed Yourdon, no modifications, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

Coppelia Pointe Shoes From Italy

I confess. I love Italian-made pointe shoes. I especially love brands that are very popular with dancers from a particular manufacturer as that speaks volumes about the construction and aesthetics of the shoe. If the only Coppelia you know is the Japanese Coppelia model made by Chacott, this Coppelia is a brand, not just a model name. It is a pretty shoe that is very popular in and around Italy.

The Coppelia Dancewear Company

According to the about page on their official website, Coppelia is the brand name for products manufactured by The Dance Trading Company or D.T.C. based in Brescia, Italy. They started operations in 1998 which makes them neither a very old company nor a young upstart company. Their collection of products is quite impressive for a company only 14 years old.

Brescia Italy

Photo Credit:Luca Giarelli / CC-BY-SA 3.0 This gorgeous photo shows the valley Brescia which is nestled at the foot of the Alps. The city is located in Northern Italy. Somewhere amidst this beautiful scenery, Coppelia pointe shoes are being made.

The Two Lines Of The Coppelia Collection

The company sells many different dance products under the name Coppelia including tights, jazz shoes and leotards. They offer two different lines for dancers; a basic line and another line for professionals. The professional-grade products include their English Coppelia Collection for  dancers training under the RAD  or Royal Academy of Dance method.Coppelia Pointe Shoes from Italy

Coppelia R 14 for professionals, or as they say in Italian, punta professionale.

Italian pointe shoe brand CoppeliaThere are six models to choose from:

  • R 10- Coppelia Studio. This model has a medium vamp, full sole construction and wide platforms for balance.
  • R 11-Coppelia Studio 3/4 Sole. Comes in medium or wide widths with a lower-cut heel and 3/4 shank.
  • R 12-Coppelia Reinforced. This model comes with harder shank and sole construction.
  • R 14-Coppelia Professional. Low/medium u-shaped vamp and full-sole construction.
  • R 15-Coppelia Demi-Pointe. A shank-less model for RAD exams.
  • R 16-Monica Perego Coppelia-A professional model made in collaboration with Monica Perego, Prima Ballerina of  The English National Ballet. This model has a more tapered toe box for sleek aesthetics and comes with a 3/4 shank construction.

Did you notice that Coppelia does not have an R 13 model? Interesting!  By now, you probably want to visit their official website, Coppelia.com.  You can download their catalog on the “catalogo” link. That was an easy translation, no?

The special model R 16 by Monica Perego for Coppelia is not found on the official company site for some reason, but is sold on this great Italian dance supply website, E-dance.it. To navigate, click on Scarpe Danza at the top, then choose Punte. The images of each model are very good.

Dancing Beauty Monica Perego


I could not finish this post without satisfying my curiosity ( and hopefully yours too )  about Monica Perego. Lovely just about sums it up!  Stop in and visit her website where you can learn more about this beautiful dancer; Monicaperego.com.

Many thanks to the reader who sent me the link to the Coppelia website. As they say in Italian, grazie.

Triunfo Of Italy-Pretty In Any Language

Triunfo Pointe Shoes
Scarpe Triunfo

Triunfo Is Pretty In Pink

I am not sure how to say pretty in pink satin in Italian, but I wish I did.

These lovely Triunfo pointe shoes have all the features of a beautifully hand-crafted shoe; something which Italy has always been superior at producing.

I don’t know which model this Triunfo shoe is, but I find it so pretty. There is a richness to the shade of satin and a sturdy look to the platform shape and size that looks perfect for ease of balancing. In Italian, scarpe means shoe. Bella means beautiful. This Triunfo is scarpe bella.

 

Triunfo Of Italy

I was browsing through the Triunfo website today and noticed something very different about the website. The layout and products have totally changed since last year.

The New Look Of The Triunfo Website

The first thing I noticed was the fact that Triunfo is now selling other brands of pointe shoes besides their own. I was very disappointed by this! One of the most attractive qualities of a European pointe shoe website is looking at brands that are unique to that company. This is another manufacturer that has succumbed to the pointe shoe globalization bug.

Brand Globalization Is On The Move

Why do pointe shoe manufacturers sell other brands on top of their own? I can only guess that it’s a business move. Maybe the dancers that come in for fittings want hundreds of choices. Maybe it’s more profitable to sell other brands at a commission, I don’t know. It was still a shock to see Gaynor Minden and Grishkos on Triunfo’s inventory.

If every pointe shoe manufacturer did this, think how confusing buying pointe shoes would be. Can you imagine Repetto selling Suffolk pointe shoes or Russian Pointe offering Capezio’s? I will miss the fact that Triunfo used to be a 100% Italian pointe shoe website.

The Triunfo Spartacus-For Male Dancers Only

Triunfo Spartacus-Pointe Shoe For Men

Triunfo Spartacus For Male Dancers

I haven’t visited the Triunfo website since last year. I was pleasantly surprised to find a shoe here that wasn’t on the site last year. This is the Spartacus model and it is strictly a man’s pointe shoe. This shoe is described as a strong model created to withstand higher thresholds of pressure and weight. They only come in black and they have 3/4 shanks with hand-stitched soles.

Celebrating The Beauty Of Aloart Pointe Shoes

Aloart Alina

How does anyone begin to describe such a beautifully designed pointe shoe as this? This is my own personal photo of the Aloart Alina model and I had to contain myself or I would have taken dozens and dozens of photos. As you can see in this photo, the Alina model has a satin drawstring casing which gives these pointe shoes a very polished and professional look.

The soles are a high quality brushed leather and excellent for traction. There is no need to rough up the surface of the sole before using these shoes.

The toe box is beautifully proportioned and mimics the natural shape of the foot. I would rate the hardness of the paste used in this model as comparable with the hardness of a Russian pointe shoe. Very, very hard and durable! This is a shoe made to last.

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The profile on the box is medium-low and the vamps measure approximately 3 and 3/4 inches from the bottom edge of the platform to the edge of the drawstring casing. I have very short toes and the vamp length was perfect.

The platforms are a generous size; approximately 2 inches wide and 1 3/4 inches tall. The wings are blocked on this model . The combination of brushed leather sole, generous platform size, and firm wings make the Alina perfect for dancers who seek stability in a shoe.

All of the stitching is even and perfectly blended. The elastic drawstrings are thick and firm enough to gather the top of the shoe in easily. The satin material used in the Alina model is of excellent quality. This is no flimsy pointe shoe! These pointe shoes are definitely made to last.

With all of the positive design features that the Aloart Alina has, there is one design feature that really stands out. Aesthetics. The fit of the Alina is very flattering and gives a beautiful aesthetic to the line of the feet and legs. These pointe shoes made my wide feet look very sleek and accentuated my arch nicely.

I have included several more photos of the Aloart Alina. To find out more about the Aloart Company and how you can order the Alina model please visit Aloartdance.com. These pointe shoes are of the highest quality.

Update 5/28/17: The Aloartdance.com domain is no longer in service.