Roger Vivier, the Fabergé of footwear


The early days

Born in 1907, Roger Vivier, known as the Fabergé of footwear, created shoes that looked like works of art. In 1924, he began his sculpture studies at the Paris School of Fine Arts, which he abandoned two years later to learn the art of shoemaking and start an apprenticeship. Fascinated by the world of theatre and music halls, Vivier designed some stage decors. Backstage, he met Josephine Baker and Mistinguett, for whom he created custom-made shoes.

Detail of a lace shoe embroidered with sequins
Roger Vivier
"I have always been passionate about design. I review my sketches hundreds of times because I want to make sure that the idea I have in my mind is correct and respects the architecture of the foot."image title focusimage title focus

The artisan

Following the success of his footwear creations, in 1937 he opened his first boutique on rue Royale in Paris. Heels were his field of excellence - he was the father to the Aiguille stiletto, launched in 1954, and the sinuous Virgule heel, considered the manifesto of his namesake label since 1963. He was a skilful artisan with a genuine passion for feminine elegance and a flair for elevating shoes to proper works of art, working hand in hand with celebrated French embroidery houses.

Roger Vivier is often remembered for dressing a list of exceptional women. Not only did he design the shoes Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II worn in 1953 on her coronation day, he also crafted acclaimed creations for the greatest personalities of his times: the Duchess of Windsor, Princess Soraya of Iran, Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor, Brigitte Bardot and, of course, Catherine Deneuve in “Belle de Jour”, the film in which the iconic heels featuring the silver buckle made their first appearance.

Roger Vivier with his Virgule heels
"There is no such thing as avant-gardists, but there's plenty of latecomers."


Today, Roger Vivier continues supporting the talent and excellence of outstanding women such as Cate Blanchett, Scarlett Johansson, Charlize Theron, Sharon Stone, Marion Cotillard, Katie Holmes, Jessica Alba, Freida Pinto, Anne Hathaway, Shu Qi, Fan Bingbing and Jennifer Lawrence.