Recent months have seen the rise of ballet flats, leggings, sheer tights, wrap tops and skirts among Chinese fashionistas. Ballet aesthetics inspired by backstage ballerina costumes have become a global social media phenomenon, supported by influencers and creators on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. Now the #BalletCore hashtag has taken over local lifestyle platform Xiaohongshu with more than 281,000 views.
While ballet culture has influenced the haute couture industry for decades, it wasn’t until 2022 that ballet aesthetics saw a major resurgence. In fact, according to the Lyst index, the Miu Miu Ballerina was the most popular product in the industry in the third quarter of 2022, reflecting the surge in ballet style. Thanks to the viral element, searches for homes on the list in Italy rose 49 percent compared to last year.
Despite the aesthetic’s global influence, there are nuances in how Chinese followers perceive the trend compared to its Western adherents. Local fashionistas’ balcor clothing is mostly inspired by K-pop star Jenny’s appearance, female trainers and dancers, according to Xiaohongshu. Since many apprentices are not dancers, what has shaped their understanding of balletcore? How do they perceive hyper-feminine style?
The Rise of Ballet and Ballet Practice
Synonymous with beauty, grace and beautiful body shape, becoming a ballerina was a childhood dream of many adults. Although adult ballet courses are available in major cities like Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou, the flexibility and dynamism of the sport alienated many enthusiasts. However, full-body exercises that include movements derived from ballet, such as barre, barre, and gyrotonic, are attracting a growing number of practitioners in China.
Of the ballet-inspired fitness courses, barre is the most structured and is offered as group classes in premium gyms or dedicated studios. Shanghai-based barre and gyrotonics instructor Yimeng Chen, who is also a Xiaohongshu influencer, shared with Jing Daily that barre is safer and more effective than other exercises that allowed ordinary female students to shape and shape their bodies It goes away. “Her inclusiveness appeals to those who want to develop the muscle tone of a ballerina.
“Before, my students were mostly young, urban hipster women.” Chen recalls. “But now his profile has changed. My mom also joined barre classes. He explained that there are many reasons why exercise is so popular. In addition to being effective and comfortable (requiring only little equipment, such as resistance bands, Pilates balls, and weights), “pretty-faced sportswear adds enjoyment to women’s workouts.”
The impact of K-pop idols on Chinese consumers
In addition to pictures of ballet and barre classes, Blackpink’s stage presence during the group’s 2022 world tour is on Chinese fashion lovers’ mood boards because of their ballet aesthetic. Jenny’s outfits in particular, including suits, tulle skirts, leggings and ballerinas, have been featured as a major inspiration for KOLs like @Nicole, @celinnachou and @BURGERCHOI .
There is no doubt that the massive influence of South Korean pop culture has helped Jenny gain a loyal following in China. Her business value and unparalleled ability to drive sales is confirmed as she turns any simple fashion item viral. Just as Miu Miu’s ballerinas are back in fashion after their 2016 debut, K-pop stars can go beyond traditional ballet accessories to fulfill the dreams of wannabe ballerinas.
How brands like Hermès bring the Bellecore aesthetic to life
The buzz surrounding Belcore has spawned young labels specializing in the category, such as South Korean label Payheart and domestic label Tyfa. In fact, even before the ballet trend was ready in China in 2022, smart fashion brands began to take advantage of this opportunity with ballet-inspired sportswear and fitness programs in China.
Local lifestyle brand DTC Neiwai has targeted this segment with the launch of its Newai Active Sportswear range. In 2019, the brand collaborated with Chinese ballet dancer Tang Yuan Yuan, principal dancer of the San Francisco Ballet, to launch an Active Ballet capsule collection with him. Last year, Neve Active launched a dance-inspired collection featuring stretchy and soft materials that are comfortable to step into.
International luxury brands are in the sights of this fitness category, exploring the intersection of high fashion and wellness. Having the experience of conducting Hermesfit classes, Chen Jing told Daily that the luxury house Hermesfit can present its products in ballet and barre classes, demonstrating the elegance and agility of both exercises. Because this approach to fitness matches the image of the home, the HermesFit campaign has been positively received by the local audience.
While ballet is often associated with ideal body shapes and etiquette, brands should promote a more empowered and inclusive image, rather than reinforcing the toxic femininity or unhealthy aesthetic that ballet hurricanes can mislead. In this case, the betting offices got the nuances right.