One of the most enduring and versatile footwear shapes, style mavens from Audrey Hepburn to Alexa Chung have kept ballet flats in the fashion limelight – and Spring/Summer 18 collections are full of gorgeous versions of this style, with bright and pastel shades featuring alongside neutrals and blacks.
Footwear is always the most asked-for category on the Immaculate Vegan Instagram blog, so covering this most classic style of all seemed a no-brainer. The below are my current Top Five favourites – pair with black cigarette pants, a black polo-neck and a classic tote bag, and you’re fit for strolling around Cannes nibbling on a (vegan) croissant pretending to be Brigitte Bardot.
Bessy Bow Ballet Flats in Black by Beyond Skin (feature image)
The Bessy ballet flats – by Brighton-based British brand Beyond Skin – are classically shaped round-toed flats, in luxurious Italian black faux leather, with a breathable vegan leather lining, and adorned with a large flat fabric bow. They’re also available in pink and cream, and look perfect with summer dresses and full-bodied skirts for a fresh gamine look. Beyond Skin was born in 2001 because at the time it seemed impossible to be both stylish and cruelty-free – so the brand’s founders set out on a mission to bring style and quality to those who cared. Originally made in the UK, all their shoes are now made in sunny Spain, and they have one of the biggest collections of 100% vegan shoes out there, with every style imaginable, from knee-high boots to strappy sandals.
Catherine Vegan Ballet Flats in Beige & Black by Noah Italian Vegan Shoes
For those looking for Chanel-style ballet flats (minus the leather), the Catherine by Italian footwear brand Noah does the job perfectly. Available in pure black as well as this beige/black version, it’s made of a super-soft micro-suede with a black imitation patent leather toe, a subtle, decorative bow, and a flexible rubber sole. Noah’s mission is to integrate ethical consumerism with high-quality products, and all their shoes are handmade in small batches in Italy only using vegan materials, a high percentage of which are recycled. They use top quality materials (durable microfibers such as micronappa and microsuede) and claim their classic Italian designs and exquisite craftsmanship are second to none, not even leather shoes. Cheers to that!
Earth Ballerina Ballet Flats in Navy Blue by Patricia Correia
If you haven’t checked out this Portuguese brand yet – what are you waiting for? The eponymous founder asks on her website ‘What is the point of being alive if you don´t at least try to do something remarkable?’; this is clearly a very mission-driven brand that also happens to have the most gorgeous collection of stilettos, block heels and ballet flats, in a delectable range of colours (the nearest pantone colour is helpfully provided for each shoe). The Earth Ballerina ballet flats come in eight colours, and are made from faux leather with an antibacterial lining. They also do bespoke wedding shoes – almost worth getting married for…
The Ballerines Haute Fantaisie in Toile Cuivre by Via Gioia
These incredibly chic ballet flats are from French brand Via Gioia (Gioia means Joy) and come in 32 different colours, including this light gold linen canvas. All their shoes are designed in Paris and made in France, and couldn’t look more French if they tried, n’est-ce pas? Their insoles are made from a breathable organic hemp and cotton mix, which has antibacterial properties, and the sole is actually scented ‘to please your senses and transport you into the dreamlike universe of the brand’. Wow. A minimalist shape with delicate details, these would look perfect with slim trousers or even shorts. Obviously, you would need to book yourself a trip to Paris immediatement.
The Flat Birdseye in Flax by Rothys
Available in 18 different colours, The Flat is one of this Californian company’s three signature styles (they also do a pointed flat and a loafer) that in their own words ‘fits like a glove and is soft like a sock’. The brand’s founders – after many years living in San Francisco and seeing flip-flops and sneakers take over the city’s streetwear – wanted to create an alternative, versatile shoe that had the ease of a sneaker but the polish of a feminine flat. And so Rothys was born. As well as looking beautiful, what makes them special is that they’re knitted from a yarn made from recycled plastic water bottles, and they’re fully machine-washable (on a cold, gentle cycle). They even have a recycling facility that you can send them to when you’re finally done with them – although judging by the reviews that could be a very long time!
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