The Royal Ballet School has developed an impressive retail offering, both online and in its pop-up shop at the school in Covent Garden. The range includes clothing, equipment for dancers, and commemorative items for fans and supporters of the school.
The range has been developed based on extensive feedback from students and staff, and external feedback received in response to surveys. Some unique Christmas items have recently been added to the range.
From the outset, the school has sought to include only high-quality products and use suppliers that have sound ethical and sustainability credentials. The hoodies, available in both child and adult sizes, and logo face masks are supplied by A.M. Clothing, which was the first print company in the UK to introduce Neutral® Fairtrade clothing. The tote bags are supplied by BIDBI (Bag It Don't Bin It), a SEDEX (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange) and Sustainable Life accredited company and are made of heavyweight, Fairtrade and GOTS organic cotton, featuring The Royal Ballet School's coat of arms and motto: ‘Strength & Grace.' The healthcare products are those that are used at The Royal Ballet School by the students.
Two Christmas card designs are by London artist Njeri Illustrated: one shows Royal ballet School students walking to class under the Christmas lights of Covent Garden, and the other shows younger students having a snowball fight in the grounds of White Lodge. The Christmas baubles feature a gold silhouette of two of the alumni – Hanna Park (now dancing with the Royal Ballet) and Davi Ramos (now dancing with Dutch National Ballet) – dancing a pas de deux from Paquita.
The range also includes the children's book Ballet with Heart written by Emily Joof. Borne out of her frustration at the lack of diversity in children's literature, Joof started her company Mbife to highlight books that celebrate diversity and to author children's books that amplify different voices and perspectives. Inspired by her own two children's adventures at ballet class, Ballet with Heart is an uplifting story celebrating that ballet and classical dance are for everyone, regardless of ability, gender or race.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.