Inspired By: Hand Painted Ballet Slippers

There is an incredibly special quality to something that has been hand-touched. It’s soft and personal, and a little bit of the artist lives within. This is exactly what makes our vintage ballet slippers so unique.

ballet slippers

A while back, I made my way up towards the graphic design area, where I heard a little painting session was taking place. Three of our talented graphic designers were busy at work, turning light pink ballet slippers into pieces of magic. Paints and paintbrushes were spread all about, and each girl had set their focus towards the craft. One worked on floral prints, one perfected calligraphic phrases and words, while the other blended paints into soft watercolor stains. As they worked, I watched their talent come to life. I wanted to dig deeper into their process, so I asked each girl what inspired their designs.



alistair painting shoes

Music inspires dance. I imagined making a playlist of my favorite songs and how the lyrics could be written in a way that displays the movement of a dancer. I wanted to have the words be read and be reminiscent of a moment of movement. I wanted to spark memories of dance through songs. 

alistair writing

painted slipper


jenny holding slippers

Ballet shoes are all about the beauty in movement. I pictured the dancer and the ballet shoes twirling, and it reminded me of the vast and endless landscape that surrounds us, from one end to another, almost forming a circular earth. 

I wanted her to never stop dancing.

jenny painting

pretty shoes


monica and shoes

I found inspiration in vintage rugs , botanicals, and Henri Matisse’s paper cutouts–  I love this simple, collaged feeling. Each slipper started with a white acrylic outline of a floral bouquet and was layered with watercolor, leaving a white border for that paper cutout feel. I finished each slipper by hand embroidering a stitch here and there.  Hope you love them as much as I do— They were so fun to create! 

painted flowers

stitched up

Shop Ballet and our Vintage Loves collection, Just Dance.

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9 years ago

Oh wow these are so beautiful

9 years ago

So unique to add detail to such a simple beauty…very cool!
xx, Tiffany |

9 years ago

So beautiful!!

9 years ago
9 years ago

This tugs at my heart strings. I am a trained dancer, and have been out of it for a few years now. for various reasons. I miss it terribly. Oh, so terribly. I love this idea of personalizing pointe shoes! Brilliant!

9 years ago

These are gorgeous, there is so much artistry in each shoe. If anyone of importance within the company is reading this, I’m advising you to put a more stern warning on the sales page for these. Remind people that pointe shoes are more than accessories and pretty things to look at. With beauty comes great danger, and a curious girl could easily put one of these on and snap her ankle. If she is really interested in dance, she should invest years of training before being told that it is safe for her to buy pointes (to any non-dancers reading this– yes, you have to be TOLD when to buy them. You can’t just go out and buy them, it would be dangerous to the wearer if they do not have the strength it takes to stand on the very tips of their toes! Cue the broken ankles). Please, I am all for this campaign, but I am also deeply concerned about the safety of the buyers. I don’t know how effective this would be, but consider putting glass in the shoes. That way, nobody would be over-curious to put them on their feet. PS you could’ve just said that they were Capezio brand pointe shoes, not just a “company from Philadelphia”. The original makers of the shoe matter just as much as the artists who painted them.

9 years ago

I am about to become a professional ballet dancer. While these are very pretty, I don’t understand what makes them vintage. No offense, but they haven’t been worn or even signed by any well-known, legendary ballet dancer. Honestly, I’m sure the people designing these shoes don’t even know the names of any professional dancers. I suggest you do more research on ballet before trying to collaborate with that world.

9 years ago

Beeeeeeeeaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuutiful!!!!!! I have to show this to my little sister!! She’s a ballerina and she is going to freak about this!!!! :D

9 years ago

These are fantastic. You really made an art from such a simple thing. These shoes will definitely have a great impact on dancer’s performance. Love it

9 years ago

Wow, these are so lovely! Taken away by their beauty

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8 years ago

Although these shoes are gorgeously decorated, I am strongly against this campaign. Ballet “slippers” may not be the right word: that gives the illusion they are easy to dance in and comfortable. It takes years to train to wear pointe shoes, and encouraging young girls to buy them without any training is dangerous, and could result in broken ankles, messed up toes, and other long term damage to the wearers body. Furthermore, capezios aren’t for everyone. You have to pick the brand and style that support your feet. These are beautiful shoes, but I really hate the fact that you are selling them.

8 years ago

I agree with Sara and Lexi.