Roger Vivier’s chrome-buckle square-toe flats became an international phenomenon in 1967, after the beautiful, disaffected bourgeoise Catherine Deneuve wore them in Luis Buñuel’s Belle de Jour. She wasn’t Vivier’s first celebrity by a long shot; Josephine Baker, Marlene Dietrich, and Queen Elizabeth II wore his shoes, and he’d designed for Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior. Then the name became moribund for a few decades, until a gentle brand face-lift was begun in 2000. Saks Fifth Avenue has been carrying a small selection of Vivier, but now there’s a new boutique designed by Vudafieri Partners, with cult French jeweler Herve van der Straeten creating furniture exclusively for the store to complement the footwear (now designed by Italian pro Bruno Frisoni). The trilevel salon is modeled on Vivier’s own home and decorated with Van der Straeten’s lacquered console table, a Picasso sketch, and Napoleonic-era commodes brought over from Paris. Since the space resembles an art gallery more than a shoe boutique, the artfully displayed merchandise almost takes a backseat. Naturally, the classic square-toe buckle flat is still present (from $525)—available in wedge heels or ballet flat—though it has evolved into styles with jeweled detailing and animal prints.
Roger Vivier on Madison Avenue
750 Madison Ave., at 65th St., 212-861-5371