Let’s face it: the role of the shoe long ago surpassed the practical. They had begun to be decorative and expressive even before dainty satin slippers were paired with the lavish gowns of the doomed but utterly stylish queen, Marie Antoinette. They are a declaration of sexual and economic emancipation— and Roger Vivier’s creative designer Bruno Frisoni knows this all too well. In fact, he already dominates the red carpet with scores of stilettos, ankle boots, flats and even sneakers. But that is not all— his bag collection is just as desirable amongst the well-heeled ladies of today. So i decided to pick up the phone and call Mr Frisoni and talk to him about shoes, shoes and more shoes.
Tell us, what inspires you?
It’s everywhere, every time, every moment. It’s now tomorrow and today. There is no particular time for inspirations, it’s keeping your eyes open, your ears open, your nose open. You feel it. You have to feel it. Sometimes just by being open, you let yourself react to things. There is
nothing precise. Of course, most of the time, I look at photography, books, it’s a piece of art, it’s a new house. Sometimes it’s travels, a new country. There is no new. I think most of it is obsession which is also important with your inspiration as obsession.
What would you say is an aspect that drives change in the evolution of shoes?
You know, maybe accessories and shoes evolve through the fashion lens and fashion evolves through the world lens and people evolve in society, in the clothes depending on what happens in the world around you. Whether good or bad, these things make the world change and, of course, fashion is a very flexible expression and it has to evolve from that. We understand that more and more women are becoming more multi-functional than men, because you have your life at work, in society and at home, and so there is less and less time to do everything the right way. But you still want to do everything—we have to give women the style, the comfort, the speed, the chic, the sexiness…everything all together. So we are driven by all these things.
You’re even including the buckle on sneakers now. Do you think a dressedup sneaker is okay for any occasion?
Sneakers have been taken out of the sports world and have become a part of the closet for everyone. I think this is the best way now to relax a look that may seem too clean or too light. Instead of just adding a change, you add a sneaker—that changes the composition. And of course, for Roger Vivier, it will have the buckle because this is our signature. The way we thought of a sneaker was the one you use as a slip-in sneaker (for example, Vans), so it comes with no details, just a big buckle that makes it slightly conceptual and adds a modern touch to the typical ballerina signature.
What were your first memories in fashion?
My first memory was when i was a little kid, very long ago. I was very smiley, very quiet. I believe it was between me and my mother; it was the greyish, let’s say, beige, 60s-looking stilettos that belonged to my mother. I was very much attached to the look.
Elegance is something you have or you don’t—it’s inherent. The same can be said about a woman’s taste in shoes. Do you think women are dressing more casually these days, as opposed to very high platform heels of a few years ago?
I think they don’t have the choice not to do so because dressing casually gives you the possibility to
answer to every moment in your life today, without compromising on sophistication and chicness so I think everything is not the same. There is every possibility to be dressed because of the technology, you can have something that is still very comfortable and I think fashion adapts itself to what is today’s life. Of course, still giving the possibility of being fashionable and sophisticated and feel at ease almost every time. I think we don’t need to dress as we did before because everything is more relaxed.
Do you feel that a woman can be judged based on her choice of footwear? Can you tell much about a woman from her shoes?
The moment you enter a place, you give an image of yourself that is yourself so the way you present yourself and the way you want to be understood, so yes of course you can understand a little more about a woman based on her choice. It’s an information people give to other people when they make certain choices but it also depends on your mood at the time.
Are there any new materials in particular you would like to experiment with when it comes to designing shoes?
[Laughs.] there is always new things coming, for example I would love to use PVC that would not be
uncomfortable to use. I have nothing specific in mind, but maybe light materials and if some shoes could be super light. For example, we at Roger Vivier do buckle shoes, and sometimes i would love to have
them as light as possible.
What is your understanding of a great accessory to pass on through generations, be it a bag or a shoe?
I would speak about time-life. A good accessory is something that has great specification, beautiful design, and generic desire not only for that particular time but for a longer period so that brings
you to a timeless thing.
How do you keep yourself fresh?
I love, I live, and keeping myself fresh is to try to sometimes understand the limits of things that bothers you too much but at that moment accept it instead of going against it. It helps. Because everybody needs a limit to understand where he may burn himself and where he can fold. This is very important and this is what sometimes helps me keep myself fresh in a way.
What has been your most cherished career moment?
I think I’m very much into the present. Every day has to be a cherished moment. What is important to
me is to keep having fun doing what i do.
Do you ever look back?
I never look back. I hate to look back. I like to go further. I like today, I like every day and I don’t like to look back.
What is new with the maison?
There is a new opening in Malaysia, this is a new plan. We are very excited about the new opening in Kuala Lumpur. The name Kuala Lumpur is something that makes you dream.