Virgil Abloh and Natalia Vodianova at the Berluti fall 2019 show

Ascending the monumental stairs of the Palais Garnier to find his seat at the Berluti show, French actor Pierre Niney confessed his new shoe obsession.

“I love these shoes so much,” he said, gesturing to the thick-soled leather-dress styles at his feet, which have become his go-to pair for nights in town. “They have a super cool leather sole. I wonder what they are called.”

Pierre Niney in the front rowBerluti show, Front Row, Fall Winter 2019, Paris Fashion Week Men's, France - 18 Jan 2019

Pierre Niney  Kim Jones and Kate Moss

They turned out to be creepers, shoes often associated with the punk movement. The “Yves Saint Laurent” actor was ecstatic to have been able to identify his latest shoe crush: “Of course! I want loads of them.”

For Yoann Lemoine, the musician who goes by the name Woodkid, sneakers are the only way to go. “It’s a question of comfort, but also because I’m only 34 years old,” said the artist, who was sitting next to Byredo founder Ben Gorham. “I’ll wait a couple of years before investing in a pair of dress shoes.”

However, it might prove tricky to house his growing collection of kicks. “I have a very, very large number of sneakers,” confessed Lemoine, who will be revealing a new project this year. “They take up too much space at home.”

A couple of seats along, past Virgil Abloh and Natalia Vodianova deep in conversation about Abloh’s recent Louis Vuitton show, dapper French actor Lambert Wilson pondered his shoe of choice. “Men’s evening shoes are my favorite kind ever. I even wear them with jeans,” he said.

Lambert Wilson in the front rowBerluti show, Front Row, Fall Winter 2019, Paris Fashion Week Men's, France - 18 Jan 2019

Lambert Wilson  Stephane Feugere/WWD

Film fans may remember him as the cursing Frenchman in “Matrix Reloaded,” but Wilson, who is poised to take up the lead role in the Molière play “The Misanthrope,” is the picture of French elegance. “I have a collection of patent shoes, including an exquisite pair of loafers by French house Roger Vivier. They are so comfortable. I’m obsessed with the idea of both comfort and extreme beauty at the same time.”

So French shoes are the best of the best? “The Italians have made it their signature,” conceded the actor.

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