The renaissance of Roger Vivier with Bruno Frisoni & Ines De La Fressange.
Creative Director Bruno Frisoni has seen trends in footwear come and go, having been at the creative helm of stiletto-pioneer house Roger Vivier since 2004. First honing his talent with fashion designers in the 1980s, Frisoni has revived Roger Vivier with an astute sense of modernity while retaining the house’s rich heritage.
Together with Brand Ambassador for Roger Vivier, Ines de la Fressange, who is regarded as one of France’s legendary beauties, the Parisian label steeped in history has gone on to retain all of its hallmarks. Think classic square toes and vintage-feel, jewel-encrusted embellishments.
‘Roger Vivier guides me; I always try to look at his work to reinterpret it with my vision in keeping with his soul and philosophy.’
– Bruno Frisoni
To celebrate the November opening of the new Roger Vivier store in Dubai Mall, we chat to the talented duo, who share their thoughts on style and what sets a Roger Vivier accessory apart from others.
How do you feel you complement each other?
BRUNO: She talks and I listen! She always turns any dramas into some fun, and comments on everything, which is good as it makes me think. The way I like to describe our work dynamic is that we don’t work together, instead we live the brand together.
INES: It is a good balance, as I am more like the customer than the designer.
How would you interpret elegance?
INES: I think it is a reflection of your thoughts. So many people show up with brands and logos, but showing off your fortune doesn’t come across as elegant.
What do you think of how brands are projecting women empowerment? Do you think women need to be reminded through fashion that this is important?
INES: In one way there is the position of the woman in the world, and it is a fight that will never stop. We have to be careful with the image of women, and it is important to talk and think about it, however nowadays we accept that women are liberated. She can now work, look after children, yet still look stylish, showing that there is no longer a decision between cleverness, beauty, or style. The power of the woman is to decide what she is buying, as that is not the brands decision.
How challenging is it to satisfy the global client of today, from traditional customers to millennials?
BRUNO: In general, I find that all our customers want to look younger, across all generations, and you need to give them choices, from the daughter to the mother. You should push your customers out of their comfort zone, without scaring and pushing them away. It is a matter of balance, as it is dangerous to evolve too much and lose your core loyal clients, yet it is important to keep developing.
INES: If you try to satisfy everyone, it is usually not what they want and you don’t endup satisfying anyone. We have signature products that sit alongside our trendier pieces, and we work more on creating pieces that we have courage in and believe in.
The buckle has always been a core design for you, but how do you keep it alive, yet avoid repetition?
BRUNO: I have always loved the buckle, especially because it was alive before it was a fashion item and became fashionable. In a way it is abstract, as it is just an element and can be changed over time. It can be quite minimal if you look at the style and silhouette, because it is a silver frame on a patent black leather shoe, however with something like this you can reinterpret it in so many ways. It can be likened to a work of art but my analogy is that they are very different, art can be framed, whereas you put the frame on Roger Vivier.
INES: It is like music, you have eight notes, but you can create so much with them, from symphonies to rock.
Can you tell us about the AW collection, the mood and inspiration?
BRUNO: The central idea was the big stripe, which is at the heart of the collection, changing depending on its colour treatment. There is also the floral embroidery which is inspired by 19th-century Ottoman hangings, and is composed of golden metallic or multi-coloured thread depending on the design. Then of course there is also the square-shaped buckle and block heels, inspired by the audacious 70’s femininity.
What do you do in your free time?
BRUNO: I read books.
INES: I like to do nothing!
Tell us something nobody knows about you?
BRUNO: I love speed, and I love to drive cars. I find it very exciting and I don’t think people see me in this way.
INES: I don’t have good hair, but I do have a very good hairdresser!
What are your feelings about social media?
BRUNO: I follow many people, but I have recently been cleaning up my profile as I have needed to edit down the number of people I follow. I have found it too congested. I tend to just do my posts and concentrate on them, rather than following others. Sometimes friends post too much and it takes away the curiosity, giving too much of their lives away.
INES: I think it is great for young designers who are starting out, and I like to share their products on my account as I love the fact that my platform can help small brands with just one post. I see it like my own magazine, and I like the power of that.
How would you like the world to remember you and what’s the one thing you’d still aim to achieve?
BRUNO: This is not something I even think of, I love the present and the moment, but I am not thinking about life after me.
INES: I would love to create a foundation for young people in fashion, to give them the opportunity to work in the fashion world.
Do you have any regrets?
BRUNO: No, I am not a man of regrets.
INES: That I have worked so hard from a young age, and haven’t spent enough time with my family.
How would you describe each other?
BRUNO: She brings life wherever she goes.
INES: He is childish, because of his dreams and creativity!
By Lara Mansour Sawaya
Roger Vivier is available at The Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, The Galleria on Al Maryah Island, Level Shoes and at Bloomingdale’s Kuwait.