Paris: Ballet Slipper Hunting

Come and meet those dancing feet on rue de la Paix

Dance away the winter blues

By Theadora Brack in Paris

Hold on to your hat! “Les Soldes d’hiver 2012″(big winter sales) in Paris will kick off on Wednesday, January 11th, and last through Tuesday, February 14th. Pining for a pair of discounted Repetto ballet shoes? Well then, it’s high time to shine, and make a plan of transaction.

Here are a few suggestions and addresses, so crank up your printers!

Get Smart

Oh, my. I spy. Strategize like there is no tomorrow. Visit your favorite shops prior to the sale. Memorize the layout. Take note of “rack formations.” Also, know your European shoe sizes.

If the shoe fits, jot down its size, model and color. Create a wish list. Then on the first day of the big sales, arrive early with a “quest” in mind and a list in hand.

Get Smart

Layout of the land

My favorite Repetto shop is located at 22 Rue de la Paix, just a hop, skip and pirouette from the Opéra Garnier. Swing by for a peek at the historic flagship’s towering cubbyholes, stuffed with satin ballet slippers in every shade of pale.

More skinny

There are also Repetto shops at 51 rue des Francs Bourgeois (Métro Saint Paul), 51 rue du Four (Métro Saint Sulpice), and 36 rue de Passy (Métro Passy).

Printemps and Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann also carry the iconic flats, plus limited-edition models made specifically for the grand magasins. Dreaming of rodeo booties or flats made of faux animal prints? Giddy-up! Embrace your inner Annie Oakley.

Again, arrive early for the trapping.

Stay on your toes!

Flash of history

Ballet slippers are currently all the rage, but didn’t become a closet staple until 1956. Thank Brigitte Bardot for asking founder Rose Repetto to make a street shoe model of the classic ballet flat during the filming of “And God Created Woman.”

Rose obliged her with a sublime pair in red (and the rest is history in the shaking). Talk about shaking, Mick Jagger and Serge Gainsbourg rocked out in their own Repetto versions of lace-up oxfords. Oh-ra-ra!

As Mick Jagger says, “A good thing never ends!”


5 thoughts on “Paris: Ballet Slipper Hunting

  1. At first I was reminded of a row of red canoes, and the old song, “My Darling Clementine”–

    Light she was and like a feather,
    But her shoes were number nine–
    Herring boxes without topses
    Sandals were, for Clementine.

    Then I realized they were tiny ballet slippers! It made me laugh . . . .


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