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A brief history: Ballerinas, Manoletinas and Mary Janes's

For some years now ballerinas have become an essential footwear, on one side, for the comfort they provided, and secondly, because of their huge versatility as they are the perfect shoe to wear in any situation.


The origin of the ballerinas brings us to the classic ballet, as these shoes were used by the dancers at the beginning of the 19th Century, and have become an important accessory in fashion during the fifties. Ballerinas have been part of the closet of the greatest divas like Audrey Hepburn, the protagonist of the classic Billy Wilder movie “Sabrina”.

As of today, ballerinas are not exclusively a street footwear. They have now become part of weddings as a shoe more and more brides wear on their big day because of the perfect mixture of elegance and comfort. Not only weddings have been conquered by the ballerinas, as more evening events and fashion shows have been using them during the last years.


Along the years, the ballerinas have evolved, and several different styles have emerged, such as the Manoletinas. The name has its origin in the Spanish bullfighter Manolete. Controversy has happened sometimes when the discussion about the difference between ballerinas and manoletinas is brought to the table, but usually, the sole of the latter ones is thicker.

Also, if they have a bow or some kind of motif in the toe, they are called francesitas (frenchies) or parisinas (Parisians).

Mary Jane’s

The ballerinas with a strap that it’s fastened over the instep from one side to the other are known as Mary Jane, or Merceditas for the Spanish speaking countries.

The origin of these shoe has two different stories. The Mary Jane has its origin in the Brown Shoe Company, which created a character called Mary Jane to promote the shoes.

In Spain, and other Spanish speaking countries, they are called merceditas, and the name comes from María de las Mercedes de Orleans, who was also known as Merceditas.


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