Roger Vivier

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Shoes by Roger Vivier for Christian Dior

Roger Henri Vivier (13 November 1907 – 2 October 1998)[1] was a French fashion designer who specialized in shoes. His best-known creation was the stiletto heel.[2]


Vivier has been called the "Fragonard of the shoe" and his shoes "the Fabergé of Footwear"[3] 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.[4] Stiletto heels, the very thin high heel, were certainly discovered 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.

Ava Gardner, Gloria Guinness and The Beatles were all Vivier customers, and he designed shoes for Queen Elizabeth II for her coronation in 1953.[5]

Vivier designed shoes for house 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.

Vivier has a boutique on the Rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré, whose design is inspired by Vivier's apartment. The collection is designed by Bruno Frisoni. 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 USA. The latest opened in May 2012.[6] 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 de la mode et du textile at the Louvre.

The brand has been owned by Diego Della Valle's company, Tod's, from 2006. As of November 2015, Tod's owns 60.7% in the shoe brand.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Enid Nemy (8 October 1998). "Roger Vivier Is Dead at 90; Raised Heels to New Heights". The New York Times. p. B 11. Retrieved 18 November 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Roger Vivier (Memoire): Books: Colombe Pringle
  3. ^ Hilary Rose (27 September 2007). "Ahead of the curve". The Times. UK. Retrieved 23 October 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Meredith Paslawsky (November 2008). "Italian Fashion: The History of High Heels". Life in Italy. Retrieved 23 October 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Hannah Shakir (October 2009). "Vivier la Reine!". Glass Magazine. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 23 October 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "Tod's splashes out $440 million on Roger Vivier shoes". Reuters. 23 November 2015.

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