1974/ The beginning of the adventure.
The history of Merlet started in 1974 in Limoges. Shoemaker, Roger James Merlet, had always worked with shoes.
When he decided to develop ballet shoes, it wasn't by chance that he met Roger Béchade. This famous violinist was married to a principal dancer for whom he was making the pointe shoes. From this meeting, the passion for ballet was born.
1980/ The 'stitch and return’: a technique which will change the ballet shoes for ever.
It’s in the small workshop in Limoges, rue des Belges, that the team develops the shoes with the comfort of the dancers in mind.
At this time, around 50 pairs of pointe shoes were made every day.
It’s also at this time that Roger James Merlet and Pierre Lassenne discovered the stitch and return technique. This technique will bring a new way of dancing and comfort.
1985/ Innovation: a real importance for Merlet
1990/ An end and beginning
1991/ Merlet: ballet shoe precursor
Innovation and knowledge are really important to Pierre Lassenne. He has developed pointe shoes using new material
Another innovation is the use of the polycarbonate in the manufacturing of pointe shoes. It’s really flexible and unbreakable. This discovery extends the lifespan of the pointe shoes.
The patent was so innovative the competitors took back this technique
1994/ Merlet: International
Since Pierre Lassenne started to head the company, he travels all around Europe and meets with the most famous ballet companies. Merlet is developing pointe shoes for many dancers… The brand becomes more and more famous with the most prestigious ballet companies: Vienna, Lyon, Bonn, Paris, Berlin, …
1998 / Marie-Claude Pietragalla and Nicolas Le Riche: two “étoiles” meet Merlet.
2001/ Merlet launched its first soft ballet shoe
Merlet expanded its range and for the first time launched two models of soft ballet shoes. ECLAT and ENVOL joined the Merlet catalogue.