Shoes to Match
Posted by Team APATA | Jun 29, 2020
The world of ballet as well as other industries such as the fashion world have long been criticised and questioned on why they don’t make shoes to match skin tone.
Ballet shoes have always been a pale peachy pink comfortably assuming dancers were, too. For a black performer when they enter the ballet store are presented with two options – beige and pinks and no option for non-white ballet dancers. Instead they ‘pancake’ their shoes with make-up to achieve tone to suit, a process undertaken daily, a half an hour at a time, as the colour rubs off during rehearsal or performance.
What’s even more remarkable is a quick ‘google’ search and you can find plenty of ‘how to instructions’, equipment lists for the best results and videos. The same can be said for tights and under garments.
Pinkish nude ballet shoes are the industry standard, but on brown skin, they can shorten the silhouette. Dyeing ballet shoes brown is time consuming and messy but with little choice what’s a black performer to do?
Well times are a changing and for the better! While many dance brands have lagged in response to supporting diversity, in 2017 Gaynor Minden made waves as the first pointe shoe brand to offer shoes in a diverse range of shades, saving black and brown dancers massive amounts of time and energy spent pancaking their shoes by hand. Freed of London followed suit in 2018, in a collaboration with London-based Ballet Black. So Danca also offers its Toshie and Aurora models in Mocha, a shade of brown satin.
Last month in the year 2020 – 6 major dancewear brands announced plans to release pointe shoes in diverse shades. While it should come as no surprise amidst global protests for the Black Lives Matter campaign, the ballet community has turned to social media to demand that other major pointe shoe makers, including Bloch, Capezio, Repetto and Suffolk, start to make shoes in darker shades.
Finally a response with Bloch releasing a statement online sharing the company’s plans to release a line including more inclusive pointe shoe shades – “We have been intently listening, reflecting on what we are doing and what we can do better and acknowledge we have not been moving fast enough. We are fully committed to following through with these plans and confirm we will be introducing darker shades into our pointe shoes and Blochsox range in fall this year.”
The next day, two more brands jumped on board. Russian Pointe announced that it too would release a new line in a diverse range of shades, called RP Palette Pointe Shoes. “We are thrilled to announce that the RP Palette will not only offer color matched tights, ballet slippers, ribbon and elastic, but also POINTE SHOES!” (Russian Pointe posted on Instagram).
Capezio will also expand its offerings with darker shades available in two of its most popular stock pointe shoe styles come fall. “We support all dancers’ dreams to express themselves through the beautiful art of dance,” wrote Capezio CEO Michael Terlizzi, who urged customers to continue to share their thoughts and comments.
Nikolay added its voice to the mix, sharing on Instagram that it had launched two new colours, called Latte and Espresso. “You can now place your orders for these awesome new colours!” Nikolay wrote. “We are producing them on request in any model, shank and size.” The collection also includes a matte canvas tan option.
Grishko and Suffolk have both announced on Instagram that they would be offering pointe shoes in various skin tones soon. “We will begin production as soon as the raw materials we have ordered are available,” wrote Mark and Keri Suffolk, the company’s founders.
Black Dancewear Companies
“BALLET CAFÉ embraces the fact that dancers come in various colours. For this very reason, we’ve created, “Naturals,” a line of tagless, comfortable, Fleshtone Convertible Tights that come in six uniquely named colours: Fudge Fondu, Chocolate Barre, Tiramisu-Su, Caramel Frappé, Butter Piqué, & Creme Brisé. Choose which complements you best and let BALLET CAFÉ Naturals be a treat to you! Know that they were made with you in mind.
Our tights feature a tagless, woven waistband for extra comfort. They can be worn either footed or footless – which is ideal for switching between classes of varying genres. The material is 87% Nylon, 13% Spandex with a crotch dyed to match.
Blendz offers an inclusive selection of high-quality, professional dance apparel and shoes in various shades and styles that are specifically designed to cater to a variety of skin tones. Our dance apparel and shoes are made as matching sets in order to flatter the skin tone, contour the shape of the body and create a seamless line that elongates the dancer’s body from head to toe.
Blendz Apparel is made not only for the studio and stage but are also designed for the dancer with comfort, convenience, and durability in mind.
Looking to purchase something in your FleshTone? Here at FleshTone.net, beige is not our one-size-fits-all, our ‘normal’, our ‘nude’ or our starting point. We assume nothing. Instead, we have searched high and low for the best options for all of those dance-related, everyday and special items that you need in your FleshTone. You do not need to explain anything to us about your skin colour and your needs.
We get it.
Nude Barre is a specialty line of eco-friendly undergarments made in 16 shades of nude to match all skin tones. Durable enough for active women and stylish enough for everyday fashion.
These high-quality undergarments are fit for performance. Nude Barre, where great fashion meets solution. Nude comes in all shades.