Medellin’s Growing International Fame for Tango Extends to Shoes
Tango fanaticism in Medellin is perhaps second only to Buenos Aires — and only partly because the world’s most famous tango singer Carlos Gardel tragically died in a plane accident here on June 24, 1935.
Since then, numerous tango clubs have sprung-up around Medellin, eventually prompting the city to organize the popular, annual Medellin Tango Festivals each June.
These events and venues draw thousands of national and international spectators and dozens of internationally famous tango stars (see “Medellin’s Annual Tango Festival Shines This Month,” Medellin Herald, June 15, 2016, and “Tango in Medellin Continues to Thrive; Salon Malaga, Patio del Tango Local Favorites,” Medellin Herald, August 31, 2016).
This fame continues to grow in unexpected ways, as evidenced by a July 18, 2018 report in Portafolio, one of Colombia’s two major national business newspapers.
That report recounts the founding and growth of Medellin-based shoe-maker D’Raso, which specializes in shoes for tango, flamenco, jazz, salsa and ballet — for customers in cities as far-flung as Paris, London, Madrid, Rome, New York, Montreal and Melbourne, where the company has specialist sales representatives.
According to the company, its hand-made shoes employ “exclusive designs evolved from quality and functionality,” tailor-made for each dancer.
“In our D’Raso shoes it is essential that all seams are resistant and that all its parts are reinforced, to ensure that the shoes between jumps and movements absorb shock and energy without breaking, of course, without losing the comfort and flexibility that our brand offers,” according to the company.
“Our shoes make a difference by being specially designed to dance. Softness, flexibility, comfort and light weight allow you to more easily perform your pivot movements, turns, rotations, insteps, jumps among other movements.”
The family-owned company first ventured into footwear in 1962. But a succeeding generation — led by current owner Robiro Ocampo (himself a tango dancer) – spotted an international market for specialist dancing shoes.
“The main characteristic of a D’Raso shoe is that it should be comfortable and should be adjusted to the foot as if it were a glove,” according to the company.
“When a shoe is not adjusted to the foot, this forces the dancer to make an extra effort to maintain posture while making turns or fast movements. We know how important it is for you to be comfortable when it comes to dancing, so our team is committed to do our best to meet your expectations, providing a product of excellent quality,” according to the company.