When women want comfortable shoes, the universal solution in almost every closet are ballet flats. Whether you’re running out for an afternoon of shopping or want something a little more casual for the office, the ballet flat is the perfect option for women who always want to remain stylish. With their lightweight, flexible construction and comfortable fit, these shoes have become a staple in fashionable footwear.
Ballet flats didn’t officially emerge until 1947, but similar flats can be traced all the way back to the 16th century. They were worn by both men and women during medieval times, but came out of style when Catherine de’ Medici introduced the French Court to high heels when she wore them to her wedding. However, flats were quickly revived in the fashion world after Marie Antoinette walked to the guillotine in a pair of heels. Heels became frowned upon in France, and flats became to the go-to style once again.
In 1947, ballet flats were introduced to the modern world when Rose Repetto created the first pair in a Parisian workshop. The hand-stitched ballet flat was created for her son Roland Petit, who was a renowned dancer and choreographer. Professional dancers immediately began demanding the shoes due to their comfortable nature, flexibility and pointed toe.
Ballet flats became a permanent part of fashion when the French actress and ballet dancer Brigitte Bardot requested a pair to wear during the filming of “And God Created Woman”. Bardot brought ballet flats to mainstream fashion. Around that same time, Repetto made the shoe available to the public when a pair of her red ballet flats went into commercial production, sending the shoe into an iconic fashion statement.
In 1957, Audrey Hepburn wore a pair of ballet flats with skinny jeans and a pair of oversize sunglasses in the film “Funny Face”. Ballet flats were no longer just a fashion statement as they became an fashion staple for those who want both style and comfort.
The popularity of these shoes continues to grow today, with designers creating unique designs season after season like the quilted design by Paul Mayer, ballet flats with dangling gemstones by TTT, or watercolor design by Ron White. Ballet flats are the must-haves for any woman looking for chic, comfortable style.