The ballet flat has long been the cool girl's footwear of choice. It all began with Rose Repetto, who stitched a pair of ballet pumps for her son, the dancer Roland Petit, in Paris in 1947. She went on to establish her shoe company, Repetto, and the style took off when Brigitte Bardot donned a pair in the 1956 film And God Created Woman. No longer just practical shoes for dancers, the ballet pump was worn on- and offscreen by Parisian ingénues, and confirmed as the chic shoe of choice when Audrey Hepburn paired hers with cigarette trousers and a black rollneck in 1957's Funny Face.
Fast-forward to the '00s, when the likes of Kate Moss and Sienna Miller wore classic black ballet pumps with skinny jeans and silk blouses, floaty floral dresses and leather jackets, and women everywhere thanked the fashion gods for relief from four-inch heels. A symbol of effortless, feminine dressing, it suddenly fell out of favour when comfort and style collided in the Balenciaga-led rise of the chunky trainer. The ballet pump ceased to be the only flat shoe option and was relegated to the backs of our wardrobes as other styles – the trek sandal, the hiking boot, the dad sneaker – reigned supreme.
Now, though, a slew of celebrities are championing the classic ballet flat in a host of styles, from patent to scalloped to suede. Both Alexa Chung and Adwoa Aboah wore them to Wimbledon, Alexa teaming her silver three-strap pair with a white tulle mini dress, while Adwoa went for a classic black pair with a sherbet yellow coat, white jeans and slogan tee. On the catwalks, Dries Van Noten, Thom Browne and Bottega Veneta presented a plethora of styles, while Chanel’s blush-and-black monochrome pair (complete with interlocking CC logo and hyper-feminine bows) are still a favourite.
The styles we’re shopping? Aeyde’s white square-toed take, Martiniano’s iridescent green offering and Miu Miu’s buckle-fastening pair (loved by everyone on our IG feed). Click through to find the ballet flats we’re pirouetting through summer in.