HANDMADE IN LONDON SINCE 1929
1899 – Frederick Freed is born in London’s East End, the son of a sample shoemaker.
1929 – Frederick Freed opens a retail store in Cecil Court with his wife and assistant. He works in the basement of the shop producing pointe shoes for each customer. Anna Pavlova and Margot Fonteyn were among his first customers.
1934 – Production is moved to Endell Street after production becomes too big for the basement of the store.
1936 – The Royal Academy of Dance receives its Royal Charter and begins a continuing association with Freed of London.
1946 – The Royal Opera House reopens after WW2 and becomes the permanent home of the Sadler's Wells Ballet. George Balanchine founded New York City Ballet. Both of which become signature ballet companies for Freed of London.
1947 – Manufacturing outgrew the Endell street premises, so production moved to Mercer Street. Freed of London Limited was also registered at Companies House. This year also sees the retail store move to the larger shop in St. Martins Lane. Freed of London became one of the most prestigious and leading pointe shoe manufacturers in the world.
1948 – Moira Shearer wore Freed of London pointe shoes in the classic film ‘The Red Shoes’.
1949 – Sadler's Wells Ballet tour the USA and Canada, which showcases the English style of Ballet as well as Freed of London pointe shoes. Prima Ballerina Margot Fonteyn, receives outstanding reviews for her performance and exquisite footwork, while dancing in her Freed of London pointe shoes.
1955 – Freed of London start to supply many of the world's international ballet companies, as the post war ballet boom continues. Such as Royal Danish Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet and La Scala Milan.
1968 – Mr and Mrs Freed retire and D H Sam Thompson Limited, based in Leicester, acquires the company, as well as Magdalan Shoes of Norwich. The three companies continue to operate as Freed of London and the company now has 3 production sites across England.
1971 – Primary production is moved to Well Street, Hackney where the company still has its main production base today.
1975 – Freed of London opens a New York office, to expand our North American pointe shoe business. Supplying major ballet companies such as New York City Ballet.
1985 – Freed of London begin manufacturing their own line of garments. To this day Freed of London continues to manufacture and supply the prestigious Royal Academy of Dance authorised uniform.
1986 – Freed of London is bought by Chacott – a Japanese dance wear brand.
1989 – Chacott is subsequently bought by Onward Holdings Group, Japan’s 4th largest retailer.
Late 90’s – Sponsoring the Ballroom Dancers’ Federation, Freed of London become the go to brand in the Ballroom and Latin dancing world.
2002 – The prestigious Sonny Binnick award is presented to Freed of London for outstanding services to the dance industry.
2008 – Freed of London acquires French dance wear brand Attitude Diffusion, adding 8 retail shops across France to Freed of London’s portfolio of stores.
2009 – Freed of London acquire the Dance Step brand of ballroom and social shoes.
2012 – Freed of London launch their first range of Bridal shoes and opens a retail store in New York in collaboration with Chacott. Freed of London supply the shoes for the internationally acclaimed
opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics.
2013 – Expanding the company, Freed of London releases a collection of ballet flats.
2014 – Freed expand their ballroom market and launch a vintage range of wedding shoes.
2015 – Freed introduce a number of new products, including the launch of a new Ballroom range and new tap and character shoes. The first reseller in the Shanghai region opens their doors for business and Freed sponsors their first “Same Sex” couples.
2016 – Freed of London became the first dancewear manufacturer to achieve ISO 9001 accreditation, were featured on the BBC Television documentary “Inside the Factory” and were awarded the Galaxy Classique Ballroom Dance Shoe Manufacturer Of The Year Award.
2017 – Freed of London launch innovative new ballroom styles, a new performance fabric for the prestigious Royal Academy of Dance uniform and receive ISO accreditation 9001 2015.