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Freed of London: Putting Dancers' best feet forward

A Freed shoemaker shapes the box with a mallet, the final step before the shoes go into the kiln to dry. Each cobbler makes 50 pairs a day, which are imprinted with their maker's mark. (Marcia Adair / For the Times)


Tucked away in the side streets of Mayfair, the world-famous tailors of Savile Row make gentleman's suiting to order for businessmen, gentry, politicians, oligarchs and Saudi princes.

Six miles to the east, in Hackney, lies another temple to old-school English craftsmanship: Freed of London, makers of custom pointe shoes since 1929. In a small workshop flanked by midrise apartment blocks, a no-frills sandwich café and a betting parlor, 12 shoemakers each transform satin, canvas, cardboard, burlap and leather into 40 pairs of pointe shoes each a day. (Read more here)

Are YOU a Freed dancer? What are YOUR thoughts on your shoes and/or your maker?

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