You can banish your boots, say goodbye to your sandals and even give your heels the heave-ho – but you should never ditch your dancing shoes. Ballet flats are having a moment this summer, if Copenhagen Fashion Week is anything to go by. Find out why everyone is wearing them this season, and where to get your hands on the best pairs.
Ballet Flats Take Over Copenhagen Fashion Week
Street style at any Fashion Week event is guaranteed to spark a trend or two – but at Copenhagen this week one stood out in particular: ballet flats. The humble pump has been steadily cruising its way through summer, making a home for itself on the feet of big names like Kate Middleton, Katie Holmes, Bella Hadid and Alexa Chung, but seemed to be everywhere at Copenhagen’s SS24 shows.
And what do the ballet flats of 2023 look like exactly? Well, some are cute and dainty, some look like, well, ballet shoes and others are almost unrecognisable as the classic pump. It’s the latter that took centre stage at Copenhagen, as many show-goers opted for edgier takes of the ballerina – think sporty-looking mesh, chunky buckles and glittery studs.
Some of the dreamy flats making their way through Copenhagen came from the likes of GANNI (as expected in the brand’s home city), Prada, Alaïa and Maison Margiela – but more brands than ever are jumping on the ballerina trend this summer.
What Are Ballet Flats?
Ballet flats, or ballet pumps, are a type of women’s shoes inspired by professional ballet shoes, featuring a thin heel or no heel at all. ‘Ballerinas are a timeless classic that is never out of style, but right now they are having a huge comeback,’ says Pretty Ballerinas‘s Montserrat Novau. The brand, which has been making shoes for over 100 years, has recently seen an uptick in interest for ballet ballet flats. ‘After many years of really casual, relaxed looks, it seems now the reign of athleisure is declining. Fancy is back. Elegant, simple and chic are important again.’
As with many of the trends we’re seeing this year, ballet flats is another that is steeped in nostalgia – evoking both vintage and Y2K vibes. ‘There is also a strong comeback in the aesthetics of the early 2000s, when style icons like Alexa Chung, Kate Moss and Sienna Miller wore ballerinas all the time,’ continues Montserrat. ‘And that’s the great thing about them: whether it was in the 50s and 60s with Audrey Hepburn, in the 2000s with Kate Moss or now with social media influencers like Matilda Djerf (who went viral on Tiktok for wearing ballerinas), ballerinas are always a favourite because of their versatility.
‘They can be worn with jeans, skirts, dresses and even in winter with socks (like Millennials and Gen Z like to style them). They are comfortable enough to go from the office to a casual dinner, and some designs – like ours with Swarovski crystals – are the perfect party shoe. There are endless possibilities behind the classic ballerina and that’s why we love them.’
The Ballerinas Edit
Featured image by @noorunisa for Copenhagen Fashion Week SS24