Mod­ern his­tory

From 1937 to now, Roger Vivier shoes have en­cap­su­lated youth, verve and fash­ion

ELLE (Malaysia) - - RADAR NEWS -

The story of Roger Vivier is one that be­gins as joy­fully as you’d ex­pect – sur­rounded by mu­sic, art and beau­ti­ful peo­ple. As a young man, Vivier was fas­ci­nated by the colour and pomp of the the­atre, and started his shoe­mak­ing ca­reer de­sign­ing for mu­sic hall stars Josephine Baker and Mistinguett. Word of his beau­ti­ful de­signs spread, and in 1937 he opened his own bou­tique in Paris to which cus­tomers and col­lab­o­ra­tors flocked. Vivier be­gan work­ing with lead­ing fash­ion houses Chris­tian Dior, Schi­a­par­elli and Grès.

His love of ex­per­i­ments and in­no­va­tion meant he was con­stantly work­ing with new, un­likely ma­te­ri­als: lace, tulle, plas­tic, vinyl and feath­ers, more com­monly seen in a cou­turier’s ate­lier, were now pressed into ser­vice to cre­ate fash­ion­able, fan­tas­ti­cal shoes. In Vivier’s work with Chris­tian Dior in the 1950s he in­vented the stiletto heel, chang­ing the way women walked for­ever; less than a decade later he de­signed the now-iconic Belle Vivier pump to ac­com­pany Yves Saint Lau­rent’s 1965 Mon­drian col­lec­tion, its large, rec­tan­gu­lar buckle the per­fect com­ple­ment to the bright, mod­ern dresses. Two years later, Cather­ine Deneuve in­ducted the shoes into pop cul­ture his­tory by wear­ing them in 1967 film Belle de Jour.

Above all, Roger Vivier was ob­sessed with moder­nity and cham­pi­oning the new – a spirit which cur­rent cre­ative di­rec­tor Bruno Frisoni bal­ances with a nat­u­ral ad­mi­ra­tion for Vivier’s time-hon­oured de­signs. To­day Frisoni has ex­panded Roger Vivier’s orig­i­nal reach, widen­ing the scope to in­clude clutches, bags and ac­ces­sories, all as vi­brant and ex­cit­ing as Vivier’s first, time­less de­signs. The re­sult is a lux­ury ac­ces­sories brand that hon­ours the past but looks to the fu­ture with ex­cite­ment – and now, as then, the stars have come call­ing. Celebri­ties from Olivia Palermo to Rihanna wear Roger Vivier on the street and the red car­pet, prov­ing that his dis­tinc­tive brand of el­e­gance and ec­cen­tric­ity is as rel­e­vant to­day as it al­ways has been.

Roger Vivier

AboveL Olivia Palermo wears the Sneaky Viv sneak­ers

From top: Rihanna car­ries the Night Box clutch. Emily Rata­jkowski wears the Belle Vivier pump

Left–right: the Belle Vivier pump that was first cre­ated in 1967, and the new, mod­ern ver­sion of the Belle Vivier pump

Bruno Frisoni

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