In response to a viral Change.org petition, dance brand Capezio is expanding its line of pointe shoes to include darker shades.
The brand has long been custom-making styles in any shade or color, but it now will offer two of its most popular pointe shoe styles as stock items, available globally beginning in fall 2020. Additionally, the company said it is “committed to adding colors and sizes to our global product offerings.”
“As a family owned company, our core values are tolerance, inclusion, and love for all, and we are committed to a dance world free of bias or prejudice. We support all dancers’ dreams to express themselves through the beautiful art of dance, said Capezio president and CEO Michael Terlizzi. “We have heard the message of our loyal dance community who want pointe shoes that reflect the color of their skin.”
More than 319,000 people signed a Change.org petition calling on Capezio to add darker styles to its line. While the company offers range of colorways and sizes for its tights and foundations activewear collection, it currently sells pointe shoes only in a blush tone.
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According to the petition, dancers of color are often told to find pointe shoes that match their skin tones, but since “few manufacturers make brown pointe shoes,” many dancers are forced to resort to using tubes of foundation to cake their pairs.
“[N]ot only is there very little diversity in ballet itself, but what exacerbates the issue is that there is often zero diversity in shoe shades. If you don’t fit the one shade of shoe color, you automatically feel like you don’t belong,” the petition reads.
Capezio isn’t the only dance brand to announce the addition of darker pointe shoes following a viral petition. After a similar Change.org petition received hundreds of thousands of signatures last week, Bloch said that it would have more variety in its pointe shoes and Blochsox range come fall, with further product announcements to follow.
Over the past few years, brands across the fashion and beauty industries have expanded their concepts of what “nude” means to include darker shades in addition to peach-colored options. In the shoe space specifically, both Christian Louboutin and Stuart Weitzman have added increased nude options in recent years to match a wider range of skintones.