A once-famous footwear name — Roger Vivier — is about to give current front-runners Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik a run for their money. Behind the revival is Diego Della Valle, chairman and chief executive officer of Gruppo Tod’s SpA, who purchased the rights to use the late designer’s name back in 2000.

Bruno Frisoni was given the job of reviving the brand and creating the new design direction at Roger Vivier. This was no easy task, since Vivier, who died in October 1998, was a major creative force in his day. The Paris-based designer shod such high-profile types as Josephine Baker and the Duchess of Windsor, worked closely with Christian Dior for 40 years and was famous for innovations like the comma or shock heel.

In his debut Vivier collection, Frisoni, who also has his own signature line, has kept the spirit of the original designer alive by adding quirky twists such as oversized metal buckles on square-toed pumps, as well as sequin and crystal Lesage embroideries. The collection, which includes simple daytime styles, boots and decorated evening sandals, is priced from 400 euros to 15,000 euros for pink crocodile boots.

However, the new collection will not be widely available as Vivier’s shoes once were. Customers can purchase them via private appointments at the new Roger Vivier showroom at 29 rue du Faubourg St. Honoré, or later at the Roger Vivier store slated to open on the ground floor of the same building at the end of the year.

Ines de la Fressange, the former Chanel model, face of France and founder of her own clothing and accessories collection, was appointed director and communications coordinator of Roger Vivier this past June, and is currently putting the finishing touches on the new space. Fressange says the location that has been overhauled by Paris-based architects RMDM is “huge, gorgeous and beautiful.” She plans to fill the space with 18th-century antiques from Segoura, paintings by Kees Van Dongen, Pablo Picasso and Nicolas de Staël, as well as with lamps and mirrors specially made by jewelry designer Herve Van Der Straten. In addition to offices, an atelier for Frisoni and a showroom, there is also a pink bar, where drinks will be served to clients.

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