The often-divisive ballet flat has the fashion world at its feet


Ballet flats are the must-have shoes of 2023. Photo: AFP

Who said that ballet flats are a thing of the past? A fashion essential since the mid-1950s, ballet pumps were quickly relegated to the rank of outdated shoe, despite a short-lived revival in the early 2000s.

But it's time for the style to make its comeback... Not everyone is a fan but this shoe is back in a big way, spotted on the feet of the most stylish it-girls.

The rise of the sneaker has not helped ballet flats make their mark in the heart of the most on-trend fashionistas.

In fact, sneakers have largely overshadowed the iconic dance shoes, which were once considered equally practical, comfortable and elegant.

Considered old-fashioned by many, adored by a few, ballet pumps now seem to have won over just about everyone – reluctantly or not – starting with fashion icons, who were also some of the first to have kicked them out of their wardrobe.

It must be said that ballet pumps, which are in their classic form characterized by a flat sole or with a small heel, a round toe, and in some cases a strap, embody the quintessence of simplicity and basics – one of the major trends of early 2023.

Read more: How fashion accessories are finding a new role in the age of social media

Social media-approved

Genuine trend incubators, social networks are no strangers to the return of ballet flats, and may even be responsible for it. Since the beginning of 2022, ballerina style has been a favorite of the younger generations who have brought it into the milieus of fashion (and beauty) through the "balletcore" trend.

A phenomenon that, instead of running out of steam like many micro-trends born on social networks, has grown over the months to the point of propelling ballet style to the front of the stage.

Something that wasn't necessarily to the liking of all it girls and influencers, who were determined not to give attention to the cult dance shoe – deeming it too old-fashioned – at least for a while anyway.

Because now even these influencers have succumbed to the trend, helping make ballet shoes one of the key trends of the year.

The aesthetic of the prima ballerina has already generated more than 300 million views on TikTok and is gradually making its way around the world, including China.

The hashtag #balletcore is responsible for nearly 300,000 views on the lifestyle-focused Xiaohongshu social platform, reveals Jing Daily, testifying to the growing craze for this fashion inspiration.

Tutus, leggings, and chignons are among the primary beneficiaries of this interest, but it is indeed ballet slippers that have performed brilliantly.

Not only have they been validated by social networks, but also by major luxury labels.

Favoured by brands

One can't talk about ballet flats without mentioning Repetto, one of the brands that are inseparable from these classics of a woman's wardrobe.

It was at the request of Brigitte Bardot in 1956 that the designer Rose Repetto created the Cinderella ballet pumps, which have since become a must-have.

Today, the luxury brand offers them in a multitude of styles, colours and prints, with or without a heel, including some models that seem to come straight out of a real ballerina's wardrobe.

Also worth mentioning is the house of Chanel, whose two-tone models with round toes are also among the it girl's fashion essentials, but first and foremost it's Miu Miu that has helped revive their image among the most on-trend fashionistas this time around.

In March 2022, during its Autumn/Winter 2022 show, the luxury house put the spotlight on its pleated mini-skirts, the flagship inspiration for the season, but it was the shoes worn with this new classic that really seem to have grabbed the public's attention.

Real ballet flats, as if from the dance floor, in white or black satin versions, with straps... And worn with leg warmers.

The success was such that Miu Miu's ballet flat became the most popular fashion accessory in the world, according to the Lyst quarterly report published in October.

And that's just the beginning, judging by the interest of fashion icons in ballet shoes.

Read more: The rise of lazycore! Laziness will guide fashion trends in 2023

A boost from Bella Hadid

While influencers are slowly but surely adopting ballet pumps, presenting several different ways of wearing it, the favourite shoe of dance fans is getting support from some highly influential figures.

A few days ago, American model Bella Hadid posted several photos of herself with a pair of satin ballet flats on her feet on her Instagram.

Snapshots shared with her approximately 57 million followers that have not gone unnoticed.

According to data published by Boohoo, the search interest for ballerinas jumped by +742% worldwide just a few hours after the publication of the said picture, while searches for the terms 'balletcore' climbed by +1,424% and those for Miu Miu ballet flats by +614%.

But the American is not the only big name to have embraced ballet flats.

Katies Holmes, Jennifer Lopez, Zoë Kravitz, and Jennifer Lawrence are among the fashion icons who have fallen for the iconic dance shoes.

They are already ranked as the star shoes of the year, as well as Mary Janes and heels, also set to make a comeback. – AFP Relaxnews

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

fashion , trends , footwear


Next In Style

Social media users believe castor oil can thicken lashes, beauty experts say no
HK actor Edison Chen unveils fashion collection focusing on sustainability
It sounds like a crazy idea, but using dandruff shampoo to treat acne works
'A man looks chic with one': Iran sees timid return of neckties
From tackling acne to banishing wrinkles, turmeric offers many beauty benefits
'Clowncore' is an in-your-face aesthetic that brings a carefree feel to fashion
'Cloud skin' is the new-gen velvety makeup finish trend you need to try out
'Dopamine dressing' is about using a colourful wardrobe to boost happiness
From tomato skins to orange peels, waste gets a second life in the beauty sector
Fashion show in Iraq champions sustainability by featuring second-hand clothes

Others Also Read