Repetto, a French ballet shoes company, was born in 1947 when Rose Repetto first made ballet shoes for her son, the legendary ballerino Roland Petit. Repetto’s innovative manufacturing techniques and Petit’s experience as a dancer resulted IN shoes of exceptional quality. The
features that made Repetto’s ballet shoes great were later employed in the brand’s everyday shoes. The brand underwent further evolution in the 1980s when a new CEO, Jean-Marc Gaucher, introduced an element of fashion to the brand’s original identity as a maker of dancing shoes.
Welcome to the 24th edition of B.
I had an interesting conversation with a psychologist who said that the way people describe a situation often reflects the way they want to be seen by others rather than how they really feel at that moment. For example, consumers often justify purchases with practical reasons when those reasons were not really why they chose the product. Few people would say they chose an expensive, luxury brand for its high-end image. Instead, they usually focus on practicality or functionality, even though the product is neither practical nor likely to be used often.
This is why I don’t generally trust numbers from consumer surveys. Many respondents would likely portray themselves as smart consumers with particular tastes, thus biasing the data and limiting its usefulness in branding. One needs to be especially careful with this type of data when it comes to talking about uncertainties like the brand’s future.
This edition features Repetto, a French maker of ballet flats. The shape of the shoes changes as you walk, and they get dirty quickly, but they are an important style indicator, which is why they are loved all around the world. Repetto consumers, however, always point out the shoes’ functionality and comfort, and buy the shoes despite the high price. At bottom, I think people buy Repettos because of the brand’s identity.
Repetto started out making shoes for ballet dancers, and even after the company’s management changed, they continued to make products inspired by dancers. Claims that people buy the shoes just because they are comfortable, are convincing because of this philosophy.
Uniqlo tells users that Heattech products are the result of applying material engineering to ordinary innerwear. A successful brand gives consumers a reason to love the product, no matter how simple that reason might be—many people buy Heattech “just because it’s warm.”
Users will love a brand that has a clear reason for being. This is the essence of “storytelling” marketing. Think about the real reasons why you and the people around you love certain brands. You might find the actual reasons are different from what you had believed.
TA cheerful ballerina tiptoeing in her tutu and ballet shoes. This is the captivating image that many have of ballet.
26 Inner Space
Repetto’s signature item, ballet flats, incorporates the shape and function of ballet pointe shoes. B looked into the multiple lines of shoes and clothing that Repetto has developed from this basic model.
40 French Chic
The style of Repetto, with its natural, unadorned beauty, might be called “French chic.” B went to France to look at the styles unique to the French and ask them what brands they think are the most “French.”
Repetto flat shoes blend in seamlessly with many different styles and occasions. B met with a number of Repetto consumers engaged in several different occupations.
72 Brand to Brand
Repetto users introduce the other flats they enjoy.
76 Iconic Details
The little ribbon on the Repetto Cendrillon represents the brand itself. But Repetto is not the only shoe brand with this sort of iconic detail.
81 B’s Cut
Flats are usually worn for how comfortable they make our feet. B took a close up look at the marks feet leave on their Repettos.
96 Brand Story
Begun in 1947 as a manufacturer of professional ballet shoes, Repetto created the Cendrillon, a “fashion flat,” designed with the sensibility of a dancer and made with Repetto’s exclusive manufacturing techniques. This is the story of a brand that has maintained an authentic identity amid crisis, and whose reputation as a fashion shoe brand has continued to grow.
Different flats for different people. Wearing flats lightens their steps, and they walk almost as though dancing.
- Suyong Joh
- Editor In Chief
- Taehyuk Choi
- Senior Editor
- Eunsung Park
- Heeyoung Yoo, Bora Nam
- Styling Editor
- Insung Yoo
- Intern Editor
- Jaeeun Shin
- Translation Editor
- Heejean Kim
- JOH & Company
- Senior Designer
- Younghyun Ok
- Ayoon Jung
- Film Designer
- Onedoe Jung
- Nari Park (UK)
- Guest Editors
- Hyeseon Jeong, Hyun Son, Jungho Lee
- Chantapitch Wiwatchaikamon, Hyekyung Cha, Jaeyong Park, Juyeon Lee, Minhyung Kim, Sangkyun Han, Sangmi Ahn, Sarah Roesink
- Hyekyung Shin
- Gieun Lee, Hyunkyung Yoo, Jeanhee Ha, Rancy Kim, Soonok Hwang
- Copy Editing
- Eugene Larsen-Hallok, Heeyoung Yoo, Joyce Paek
- Sunyoung Park, Nohseon Song, Hyoungjin Choi, Inhyub Kang, Eunyoung Lim, Shinyoung Park
- JOH & Company
- Top Process
- Printed in the Republic of Korea
- 978-89-98415-45-7 03050
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- Fifty Shoes that Changed the World
- French Women Don’t Get Fat
- Like French Women