Ballerinas, cool? Who would have thought?
It was Rose Repetto, mother of the renowned ballerino Roland Petit, who meticulously recrafted her son's dance shoes for everyday comfort when he would come home from classes complaining of aching feet. Those designs ultimately shaped the ballerina flat as we know it today.
The shoes gained momentum when legendary New York designer and pioneer of the "American Look", Claire McCardell, introduced them in her collections. Women were stepping into new work roles and demanding a redefinition of comfort in their attire. McCardell embraced this zeitgeist, advocating for a democratic fashion that was both accessible and practical without sacrificing style. Her flats were not just a nod to the austerity of wartime but also a bold statement of the changing times, embodying a form of liberation from the constraints of traditional, more restrictive footwear
By the time Audrey Hepburn graced the silver screen wearing ballerinas in classics like Funny Face and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the style's iconic status was cemented.
Today, the ballerina flat continues to be a testament to McCardell's legacy, a symbol of timeless elegance that transcends seasons and trends. It is a staple in wardrobes worldwide, beloved for its versatility and the understated sophistication it lends to any ensemble. McCardell's influence is a reminder that practicality and elegance can coexist beautifully, and that true style often begins with a nod to the past, reinterpreted for contemporary times.
As the fall season arrives, the fashion zeitgeist whispers of a revival, ushering in the ballerina flat's triumphant return. Except this time around, we aren't witnessing the demure silhouette of the recurring trend. Designers have infused the classic with modern verve — think studded embellishments, unexpected textures, and metallic finishes that catch the light in new, intriguing ways. The reinvented ballerina flat deftly balances edge with elegance, offering a fresh narrative to the storied shoe. It's a tribute that doesn't just pay respect to the legacy of the ballet-inspired staple but also breaks the mold, inviting fans of the style to step into a world where cool is redefined: the ballerina has had a glow-up, and she's not just for tiptoeing, but for taking confident, daring strides.
Scroll down to browse and shop a selection of this season’s coolest versions.
The ballet flat, a practical everyday take on the ballet pointe shoe, is a staple likely found at least once in every girl's wardrobe. From a classic Repetto to a contemporary twist by Le Monde Béryl, the ballerina flat remains the go-to for an instantly polished look.
Arguably the cool girl's ballerina, the Mary Jane style definitely possesses a bit more edge, blending a schoolgirl look with boyish charm. The distinguishing buckle sets these ballerinas apart from the every day, making them an easy match for a funkier sock.
Opt for a slingback when you're looking for a dressed-up ballet flat. With endless options, from kitten heels to high heels, our curated selection of slingback ballerinas may resemble the standard design — but their sandal-like back will make your look a tad more sophisticated.