BY SYLVIE SIGURET : REPETTO, A TRUE PARISIAN STORY

The story of the well-known brand Repetto is an amazing tale…. But first and foremost, it’s the story of a free and modern woman Rose Repetto, an entrepreneur before her time. A woman of passion who believed in her lucky star. Flashback to a French success story!

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The legend…

Once upon the time, there was a little boy who wanted to be a classical ballet dancer (Roland Petit). Each time, he came home from his classic courses (dance classes), his feet were bloody and sore.rep 1

His mother, Rose Repetto, a talented seamstress native of Italy, decided to design a special ballet shoe, more comfortable and softer. Her idea: the technique ‘cousu -retourné’ where the sole is sewn and turned inside out afterwards. This avoided the seams rubbing the skin. 

That was the birth of the now mythical French brand. This genius discovery (1947) was an instant success among the dancers of the classic school.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1qSQ09M-Ck

  

piede-1Yet, she decided to quit her job and open a little workshop near l’Opéra de Paris where she sold these special ballet shoes (1959). Béjart, Noureev and les Folies Bergères, all the shining stars of the era shared the famous address at 22 Rue de la Paix. Thanks to this technical breakthrough, these famous shoes became an essential and Repetto became an official outfitter for the biggest names in dance. 

The story would have stopped if a lucky star hadn’t been shining above Rose’s head!

A few years later, in 1956, Brigitte Bardot, a gorgeous French model and actress, asked Rose Repetto to create a pair of shoes suited for everyday wear, comfortable but glamorous.

The Cinderella ballerina shoe was born and an immediate triumph thanks to the legendary film, ‘And God created woman’ where BB wore the famous red pair ! This eventually raised the Repetto ballet flats to cult status.

In the swinging 70s, it was Gainsbourg who fell in love with the classic Zizi style (originally made for the dancer Zizi Jeanmaire), the famous white shoes he never left home without which he wore barefoot - a style choice that saw him become a brand ambassador.

 

38844766 1983276995056331 1619393169571446784 oThe story goes on….

After the passing of Rose Repetto in 1984, the family business was handed over to her son.  The brand was given a new lease of life in 1999 by Jean-Marc Gaucher (former Reebok France CEO). This businessman worked for many years to re-launch the brand. Profoundly rooted in French craftsmanship, the ballerina and derby brand metamorphosed. Working on collaboration projects with designers (Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons…) and limited editions, the brand was brought back into the limelight with a new allure. 

The name Repetto is now associated with dance apparel as well as shoes. The collections are all made in France, composed of ballerinas, ankle boots, moccasins, pumps etc., and a children's collection…

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All creations are still inspired by all types of dance.

In 2012, Repetto launched its first collection of ready to wear. Inspired by traditional ballet designs, each season offers a range of light and bright silhouettes that pay tribute to the tutu, elegant wrap fronted wool cardigans for warming up in winter and transparent skirts that evoke the subtle and delicate nature of ballet. 

The key to success is diversification :  2011, a new collection of bags and in 2013, the launching of a perfume.

 

 

And now…

Repetto have around 50 stores worldwide. 60% of the sales are generated by exports. 

Around 500.000 units of the ballerina are produced each year. The shoes have recently been available for sale in the USA. 69063092 2567954863255205 8064278672833511424 n

To maintain the brand “savoir-faire”, an academy in France has been opened to teach leathercraft and the art of making an entire ‘cousu -retourné’ ballerina shoe in accordance with the know-how of Rose Repetto.

Also, Repetto have created the foundation “Danse pour la vie” to provide support, all over the world, to dance schools which encourage the reintegration of children through artistic expression.

And the story is not finished….

 

 

Copyright all photo: Repetto

 

Sophie - Lifestyle

Bonjour, my name is Sophie. I live in the heart of Paris. I’ve always loved to travel and, over the years, I developed it into a real art: the right addresses, the suitcase, how to manage fatigue with my Parisian look! From Cannes to Antigua, from the red carpet to Pilates, I have to live up to the reputation. I have small apartments in Paris that I rent out. I love to personally welcome my guests and give them some recommendations about life in Paris “living like a true Parisian and not like a simple tourist in an elegant private suit in the heart of the city”.

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