Salvatore Capezio was an Italian-born shoemaker who established Capezio, one of the world's largest manufacturers of dance apparel and specialized dance shoes including ballet pointe shoes.
Salvatore Capezio was born April 13, 1871 in Muro Lucano, Italy. After training as a cobbler in Italy, he emigrated to the United States. In 1887 he opened a cobbler's shop at Broadway and 39th Street, diagonally across from the old Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. At first he specialized in repairing theatrical shoes for performers at the Met. According to company tradition, he made the transition from repairing shoes to making shoes after he made an emergency pair of shoes for Jean de Reszke. The quality of his work for de Reszke established his reputation among performers.
In 1902 Capezio married Angelina Passone, a ballet dancer and graduate of La Scala. The couple met when she stopped by his shop looking for dance shoes. They had no children.
In 1910 the celebrated Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova had Capezio make pointe shoes for herself and her whole company during her first tour of the United States. This star endorsement enhanced Capezio's reputation. In subsequent years, the business expanded beyond ballet slippers and pointe shoes, making shoes for the dancers of the Ziegfeld Follies and numerous Broadway shows, shoes for jazz dancers, and body wear such as tap dancer's skirts.
Several scholarships and awards for dancers have been established in Salvatore Capezio's name.