A little while ago, through Twitter, I became aware of a brand new Spanish venture – Wappi ballerinas. The brand sells ballerina flats that you can customize online according to your taste, through an easy and fun process.
Basically, team Wappi created an app that offers four basic ballerina styles for you to choose from and start building your own ballerina.
Once you click on the style ( I chose the “Anna” style), you see a long line of sample strips for each type of the upper material. Leather options include suede, patent leather, smooth leather, and shiny leather. There is also a textile option. Colors, textures, and patterns are very attractive, giving you a lot of room to play.
You can customize (i.e. determine the color and material of) the upper, the toe, the sole, grosgrain (a heavy, ribbed fabric that goes on the collar or rim of the shoe, where the foot enters) and the strip of material on the back of the heel (not sure what the technical name is). Clicking on the shoe itself will show you these parts or you can go through the arrows to the left of your ballerina-in-the-making. The customizable part is highlighted in pulsating red, so that you can be totally sure on which part of the shoe you are working on at any given moment.
I had so much fun with this app that I got carried away, ending up with a number of different end product options.
Here are two ballerinas I created for myself in one session:
There is also a “Product Info” button, by clicking on which you will find out exactly what basic materials have gone into making your style of ballerina (to my understanding, the materials are mostly sourced in Spain). They also have a “Get Inspired” button, taking you to a gallery of models that have been designed using the Wappi app.You can either purchase these ballerinas straight from the online shop or customize them too!
Finally, when you are satisfied, you press the “Go to Order” button. Next you will be asked to choose your size according to the EU system (see my post about size conversions here). A normal check-out process follows. The price for any ballerina is 130Euros.
Now, as the company is very young, they currently only sell to European customers, but, as a company representative, Raquel, assured me, their next goal is to make their ballerinas available for North American customers as well. The ballerinas are 100% Made in Spain, manufactured by experienced professionals in Elda, the Spanish shoe industry hub.
There is still more to the Wappi project. The company has a lofty mission of helping women achieve pay equality and supporting environmentally responsible production processes. To fulfill this mission, Wappi wants to build a network of supporters including customers, bloggers like myself, and anyone else who wants to take part. The idea is that all members of the Wappi community will be have a voice in choosing worthy causes that support women’s economic rights and environmentally sustainable economy. Once chosen, a part of the proceeds from each shoe will go to this cause.
As I said before, the company is very young and it’s only in the beginning of its journey. I think that their product is great and their ideas are excellent. The next thing is to actually decide on a design and have a ballerina made. Personally, I can’t wait!
UPDATE: Unfortunately, a over a three years later, the company is not up and running anymore. The idea is great! I wish someone would pick up where Wappi left off.