A princess of the podiums, a creator of talent, a powerful woman, a peerless Parisian: it is almost impossible to define Inès de la Fressange, who is now the ambassador for the Roger Vivier brand. Let’s find out more with this interview.
Inès, you always seem so radiant and cheerful. Are you always in a good mood or is it a positive attitude?
That’s not a question, it’s a compliment! I’ll answer by saying that we can all become what we wish; let’s start by smiling and see what happens.
How did the Roger Vivier adventure start? What did this brand mean to you before you accepted Diego della Valle’s offer?
Roger Vivier was the most talented shoe creator of the 20th century; naturally I knew his work, just like everyone in the fashion world, but I also knew him personally as a gentle, kind, and charming man. When Diego della Valle asked me to revive the business, he didn’t know that Roger Vivier himself had asked me to help him some years earlier. So, I immediately found this project exciting and I accepted the job in a heartbeat!
How does someone re-launch a label like this? I mean, not just attract customers and sell, but also offer products that customers will desire “on the spur of the moment”?
Well, I was hired to answer exactly those questions!
Was it important to keep some continuity with the brand’s past, its history? I am thinking specifically of the famous buckles.
Naturally, we will have to decide on a strategy, make choices, choose targets, an overall policy: it’s my job. Many French companies with potential could greatly increase their sales volume if they took the time to think things through. It’s great to be a consultant to someone like Diego della Valle, a famous Italian businessman who is sensitive and lively, who listens, despite his success. It’s not enough to have ideas, opinions and experience: you also need someone who listens to you and trusts you.
How did you start to collaborate with Bruno Frisoni? You seem to get along very well.
I respect creative people and I think creativity is at the basis of society, but respect also means not meddling with details; trust and admiration are very important for people like this.
How did you come up with the idea of an Haute Couture collection at Roger Vivier?
It was rather easy. Luxury is all about having choices, the choice of making things by hand, to work with all kinds of materials (feathers, silk, crocodile) and with all craftsmen, and especially in small quantities for each design (some designs were owned by just one person in the country.) Today, we realise that customers don’t want to wait for their order to be ready, so we offer a small separate collection which is very creative and luxurious, but immediately available, because the idea of “custom made” doesn’t really work for women’s shoes.
How do you define good quality shoes today – by the materials, the comfort?
“Quality” is commonplace in Europe. We seek the excellent, the rare, the precious, the elegant, the very best, the dream. All those things that cannot be defined, but they should cause an immediate desire.
What exactly is luxury today in your opinion?
Just as it’s always been: talent!
What is your flagship model for the next autumn/winter season? Which Roger Vivier products are a ‘must have’?
Without doubt, the “Diligence” handbag; it is perfect. And a pair of black patent leather pumps. With these you will look perfect!
Around the world, as well as in France, you are also the symbol of the Parisian woman. How would you define today’s Parisian woman?
It’s funny that you should ask this question. In October I am publishing a guide at Flammarion that explains exactly this in 250 pages. In one word: the “Parisian woman” is tops!
Eres - Body Art
Paris FW 2010