Credited for the first design of the stiletto heel in 1954, French designer Roger Vivier dedicated his life to creating chic, contemporary footwear. The brand's current creative director Bruno Frisoni is just as passionate about this mission, embracing the digital landscape of 2017 to shift the classic Vivier customer into the brand's modern retail space. Bazaar catches up with the man credited for the label's revival to talk about his surprising design methods and Middle Eastern influences...
Bruno's love letter to Roger Vivier's new regional stockist, Ounass.com
Harper's Bazaar Arabia: You’re at the helm of a historic brand, how does the history of the label impact your designs now?
BF: "The heritage from Monsieur Roger Vivier is truly exceptional and the signature of the brand, the metal or strass buckle, is reinvented each season. For A/W17, the shape of the buckle has evolved, it's sharp, modern and placed on the shoe, leaves you feeling like a Belle de Jour of our time."
HBA: Internationally, the fashion landscape is becoming more of a digital playing field. How has this shift impacted your creative process at all?
BF: "While platforms like social media have become central for today's communication, my activity on Instagram is based on sharing my travels and life moments rather than finding creative inspiration. When I work on the shoes and bags of the collection, what is important for me is to get the idea of the woman who is the inspiration of my creations, it can be references and pictures of iconic actresses, like Penelope Tree photographed by Cecil Beaton for the current Fall-Winter 2017-18, or how to reinvent the Vivier woman, whose personality will always be the fire beneath the ice. That being said, we have embraced the digital landscape very much so, one of our highlights this year was working with French artist Jean Paul Goude who created a video installation for us during Paris Fashion Week."
HBA: What would you say is the hardest part of your creative process?
BF: "I would not say it's the hardest part but to make women dream about Roger Vivier shoes and bags every season is definitely a challenge, it is though, my pleasure to make that dream come true."
HBA: What locations were you inspired by this season?
BF: "I love travelling and would like to travel more if I had more time. I frequently visit Tanger in Morocco, the light, the atmosphere and the people are always inspiring. As I was visiting a museum in Europe this year, I discovered beautiful 19th century Ottoman fabrics, so I've designed for a pattern of embroidery for boots and handbags called OttoWoman for this current collection."
Roger Vivier A/W17
HBA: You visited Dubai last year, what is your perception of Roger Vivier's Middle Eastern customer?
BF: "At first sight, Dubai can be so extravagant but when you know better the city and the people who make it, it has such character. Women in this region are renowned for their sophistication."
HBA: Who is the modern Roger Vivier woman?
BF: "The Vivier woman has always been modern, she's the quintessence of the Parisian elegance, timeless glamour, and effortless chic, she's Ines de la Fressange!"
HBA: Would you ever expand into other accessories realms like homewear?
BF: "That would be tempting but no, Roger Vivier' mission is to dress women with beautiful shoes and bags."
HBA: What can we expect next from Roger Vivier and yourself?
BF: "For the moment I'm focusing on creating our S/S18 collection but, I have some new projects up my sleeve I can't wait to share with the world, stay tuned!"
Shop the collection online now at Ounass.com