VIVIER, Roger

Born Paris, 1913.
Died Toulouse, 1998.

Vivier is the Fragonard of the shoe world, whose light-hearted and rococo creations lift the spirits. He studied drawing and sculpture at L’École des Beaux Arts before working for a shoemaker. His early education was important, as his shoes, under their decorative details, have the taut, controlled harmony of sculpture. It is almost as if the basic shoe is an armature on which Vivier builds his fantasies. His exceptional style and ability were soon recognized. He established his own firm in 1932 and was soon making shoes for discerning women throughout the world. Delman invited him to New York to produce an up-market range for them. In 1953 he became shoemaker to Christian DIOR, for whom he created two collections a year. His work with Dior was truly inspired and his evening shoes of this period were exquisite: jewelled and embroidered on satins and cut velvets, always in the most refined and streamlined shapes. In 1963 he again formed his own company and in 1974 he moved to the prestigious rue Royale, from which base he created shoe collections for many of the top haute-couture houses in Paris. He won a Neiman-Marcus Award, the Daniel & Fischer Award, and the Italian Riberio d'Ora Award, richly deserved by the creator of most beautiful shoes.