In March, I shared this incredible group photo of young ballerinas posing together, and though most comments were some variation of, “YAAASSS,” there were many who complained about the lack of tights and pointe shoes to match the dancers’ skin.
Whitney Bracey was a swimwear maker who moved to leotards when she heard about the difficulties that girls of color had finding dance apparel in “nude” that actually looked nude. She launched Mahogany Blues, a line that currently has 4 tones and, according to BuzzFeed, Bracey has two more planned to come out before the end of the year:
Bracey is based in Dallas, TX, and is currently making all of her work by hand, but plans to begin mass producing as demand for her product has grown. Of course it has:
Mahogany Blues also sponsors dance studios, giving kids a Ballerina Care Package with a leotard to match their skin tone.
They also provide dancers with shoe polish to color their shoes. Unfortunately, there aren’t many options for different shades of “nude” pointe shoes either, and few in other dancing shoe styles. Even Eric Underwood, soloist at The Royal Ballet, complained about it:
Which led to dance wear company Bloch working with him on “Eric Color” shoes:
With Misty Copeland inspiring a new generation of ballerinas, these sorts of fashion enterprises will become less of a handmade, special edition thing any day now.
Image via Mahogany Blues.