Vivier has been called the "Fragonard of the shoe" and his shoes "the Fabergé of Footwear" by numbers of critics. He designed extravagant richly-decorated shoes that he described as sculptures. He is credited with the design of the first stiletto heel in 1954. Stiletto heels, the very thin high heel, were certainly around in the late 19th century as numerous fetish drawings attest, but Vivier is known for reviving and developing this opulent style by using a thin rod of steel.
Vivier designed shoes for Christian Dior from 1953 to 1963. In addition to the stiletto heel, he also experimented with other shapes including the comma. He used silk, pearls, beads, lace, appliqué and jewels to create unique decorations for his shoes.
In the 1960s Vivier also designed silk-satin knee boots outlined in jewels, and thigh-high evening boots in a black elastic knit with beads. His most iconic design, the Pilgrim pumps with silver buckles (worn by Catherine Deneuve in the film Belle de Jour) received international publicity and many imitations.
Visitors flock to his boutique on the Rue St. Honore, whose design (designer: Lena Pessoa) is famous for being inspired by Vivier's apartment. Exclusivity is the hallmark of the line, with many shoes made to order, some with hand-embroidered gold thread. There are now three shops in the US, all designed by Lena Pessoa. The latest opened in Orange County, CA in May 2012. Vivier's shoes are on display at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto and the Musée du Costume et de la Mode at the Louvre.
The brand is owned by Diego Della Valle from 2003.
- Amazon.com: Roger Vivier (Memoire): Books: Colombe Pringle
- Hilary Rose (27 September 2007). "Ahead of the curve". The Times. UK. Retrieved 23 October 2009.
- Meredith Paslawsky (November 2008). "Italian Fashion: The History of High Heels". Life in Italy. Retrieved 23 October 2009.
- Hannah Shakir (October 2009). "Vivier la Reine!". Glass Magazine. Retrieved 23 October 2009.
- Una boutique come la casa di un collezionista
- Roger Vivier at the Fashion Model Directory
- "Viva Vivier". Sutton's Law. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
- Official website
- "Roger Vivier – Shoes". Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 13 November 2007.
- "Pair of evening shoes, given by Mrs Loel Guinness". Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
- "Pair of evening shoes, given by Princess Stanislaus Radziwill". Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
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