Ballet Makers, Inc
Capezio is the trading name of Capezio Ballet Makers Inc, a specialist manufacturer of dance shoes, apparel and accessories.
Ballet Makers, Inc., of Totowa, New Jersey, was founded in 1887 by Salvatore Capezio.
By the 1930s Capezio products were dancing across Broadway in the Ziegfeld Follies and in dozens of other musicals. In 1941, Claire McCardell showed the Capezio long-sole ballet shoe with her fashion collection.
At this point, Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus and other major stores started selling Capezio footwear.
The head of Capezio from the 1950s through the 1980s was Ben Sommers, who "became like a son to [Salvatore] Capezio", though he was not a family member. Sommers branched into high fashion, and the company eventually won the coveted Coty Award in 1952 for its contributions to the industry, including its mainstream ballet flats.
However, after that time the company faced financial difficulties. In 1980, Alfred Terlizzi, grandnephew of founder Salvatore Capezio, said in Dance magazine that "in 1966, the company was broke; Capezio, the whole corporate structure." At that time, Sommers made the decision to sell the Capezio name to the U.S. Shoe Corporation. Ballet Makers, Inc., the company created in the wake of the sale of the Capezio name, currently licenses the use of this name on its dance products.
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