Iconic: Repetto Ballet Pumps, From the Opera to the Sidewalk

Designed in 1947, immortalized by Brigitte Bardot in the cinema, Repetto ballet pumps have escaped from the Opera House to become a fashion accessory. Lusted after by city-dwellers, 500 000 pairs a year are sold at an average price of 150 euros. The French brand opened its first shop in the United States last winter.

In 1947, the mother of principal dancer Roland Petit designed a pair of ballet slippers for her son. An accomplished needlewoman, Rose Repetto invented the technique of "stitch and return": the leather sole is stitched inside out before being turned back, avoiding friction from the seam on the skin and acting as a shock absorber. They were an immediate success with the corps de ballet of the Paris Opera: Maurice Béjart, Rudolf Noureev, Mikhaïl Barychnikov, Carolyn Carlson, they all wanted a pair! Rose Repetto abandoned her bistro to open a workshop near the Paris Opera House, then a shop on rue de la Paix, in Paris.

The B.B. effect

The ballet pump became cult


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