Intro: Freed of London Ltd, often referred to simply as Freed, is the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of point shoes and other dance shoes. The company additionally manufactures dance apparel, bridal, and fashion collections. Freed of London shoes are handcrafted in the UK and today the brand is available in over 50 countries. While Freed began in a basement in Covent Garden, it now comprises nine retail stores, seven offices, five warehouses, and three manufacturing sites.
History: Freed of London was established by Frederick Freed and his wife in 1929.After several years of work at Gamba, a London-based dance shoemaker, they decided to open workshop in the basement of a shop in the city's Covent Garden. In 1934, their production was too great for their small shop to handle, and manufacturing was moved to a small factory on Endell street. In 1947, manufacturing was once again moved due to the increasing scale of production. Freed of London transitioned its headquarters to a larger factory on Mercer Street. It was during this time that Freed started to become the prestigious and well-known company that it continues to be today. Frederick Freed retired in 1968 and the company was acquired by D H Sam Thomson Limited and Magdalan Shoes of Norwich. The three companies joined together and continued to operate as Freed of London. It wasn’t until 1985 that Freed began manufacturing dance apparel.
Freed of London has continued to grow and expand in the past few decades. In 2012, Freed launched its first collection of Bridal shoes and opened a retail store in New York in collaboration with Chacott. A year later, in 2013, Freed released a line of ballet flats, the first instance in which the company created shoes not intended for dance purposes. In 2016, Freed of London became the first dancewear manufacturer to attain ISO accreditation.
Manufacturing Process: Every Freed pointe shoe is made by hand in the UK with a production based from the main factory in Hackney, East London. Two smaller production sites are based in Leicester and Norwich.Freed of London currently employs 26 cobblers. Freed cobblers typically devote decades of their lives to handcrafting pointe shoes. Two thirds of all Freed pointe shoes are custom made according to dancers specific requirements.
Freed of London’s Visibility: Freed supplies pointe shoes to most ballet companies in the world. These include English National Ballet, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Miami City Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet among others. Freed of London pointe shoes are worn by principal dancers worldwide including Sylvie Guillem, Tamara Rojo, Leanne Benjamin, Nina Anashiavili, and Alexandra Ferri. The brand has also been featured on national UK television in both the X Factor and Dancing on Ice. Freed’s items have appeared in the Harry Potter and Pirates of the Carribean films in addition to Snow White and the Huntsman.
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