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The buckled Roger Vivier stilettos

In a time of over-consommation, where every season new it-bags, watches and perfumes are released, ready to wear collections are multiplied (cruise, pre-collection, runway…) and where there is a new hot spot restaurant that opens every other month, I found it pertinent to jump into the world and history of these irresitibles and iconics through this column “the iconics”.



Do you dream of a Hollywood star dressing room with shelves filled with stilettos with dizzy heels ? But do you know the name Roger Vivier ?

Long before Sergio Rossi, Brian Atwood or Manolo Blahnik, this French shoemaker, born in 1903, who is said to be the “Fragonard of the shoe” was one of the pioneers of the luxury shoe for women celebrated by celebrities and Jet-setteuses, from Marlene Dietrich to Jackie Kennedy.

Vivier, who drew Christian Dior’s first shoe collection, was the originator of the compensated soles and then a few years later of an indispensable of the feminine wardrobe, the stiletto, which according to its inventor “finishes the Silhouette like a pencil stroke “. 

But its most iconic model is the patented rectangular loop pumps created in the 1960s, to accompany the no less famous Mondrian dress by Yves Saint-Laurent.

Catherine Deneuve, icon of French chic, wears a pair of this shoe in the cult film Belle de Jour by Luis Buñuel (adapted from the eponymous novel by Joseph Kessel). This is one of the most outstanding roles of her career, Séverine Serizy, a young and beautiful bourgeois, sexually dissatisfied by her husband’s doctor, who decides to secretly engage in prostitution on certain afternoons of the week, Worth the nickname “Belle de Jour”. In this way, she makes the acquaintance of Marcel through whom she will discover sadomasochistic pleasures but whose encounter will severely disrupt the relative harmony of Séverine’s life.

The film wins the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival of 1957 and the shoe quickly becomes a must-have with famous and anonymous customers.

Bruno Frisoni has been in charge of Roger Vivier’s artistic direction for the last fifteen years, supported by its ambassador, Inès de la Fressange, who enjoys revisiting this emblematic model for the biggest happiness of the fashionistas.

If I still need to convince you that a pair of Roger Vivier shoes is a must have, I would quote Christian Louboutin who said of him one day: “Roger Vivier became my mentor. He represented the incarnation of the elegant and distinguished Parisian, courteous “. If Louboutin says so …

Contributor photos : Alexia Maggioni 

Directed by Samar Seraqui de Buttafoco 

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