This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Everyone has that one fashion item that excites them more than any other. Beautifully crafted handbags are a common favorite, as are classically tailored overcoats and cashmere separates. For me, it’s shoes — handmade, hand-stitched, buttery-soft shoes. And after spending far too much time in quarantine perusing the upcoming season’s selection of fine footwear, it’s clear to me that the ballet flat has a new this year.
I first caught wind of the shoe’s makeover via Catherine Holstein, creative director of womenswear label Khaite. Originally designed for the brand’s Pre-Fall ‘20 collection, the Ashland Ballet Flat covered more of the foot than a regular ballet flat, had a squared-off toe, and was threaded with a delicate string bow. I immediately wanted a pair. And given that the silhouette has now become a year-round signature offering for the brand, I evidently wasn’t alone.
With a newfound love for this fresh and elegant take, I started seeking out the classic shoe everywhere. “Ballet flats with a higher topline are what feels modern right now,” explains Zou Xou designer Katherine Theobalds, whose best-selling Inia Flat boasts a similar glove-like fit. “It’s that little detail that keeps it from looking basic, because I think for a little while ballet flats were kind of cast into boring territory.”
For someone like myself, whose collection of footwear consists of lug-sole loafers and heeled sandals in the summer and a very tall pair of black boots in the winter, craving the simplicity of a ballet flat came as a surprise. However, when shoes as good as these come along — especially with the promise of transitional weather just around the corner — you embrace them with open arms.
See for yourself by shopping the ballet flats ahead.
Khaite THE LOGAN FLAT, $, available at khaite
Mango Elastic leather ballerina, $, available at Mango
Mansur Gavriel Square Ballerina Flats, $, available at Shopbop
Schutz Arissa Square Toe Ballet Flat, $, available at Nordstrom
Loeffler Randall Leonie Lambskin Bow Ballerina Flats, $, available at Bergdorf Goodman
Margaux The Demi, $, available at Margaux
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