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FashionInside Gherardo Felloni's Unique Vision For Roger Vivier

Inside Gherardo Felloni's Unique Vision For Roger Vivier

Inside Gherardo Felloni's Unique Vision For Roger Vivier
By Justine Lee
March 20, 2019
Having announced himself to the world in cinematic style with Hotel Vivier, Gherardo Felloni reveals that his plans for Roger Vivier won’t be limited by the codes of the house

When we meet the morning after he hosted a Hotel Vivier pop-up at China Tang, Gherardo Felloni hints at a possible addition to Roger Vivier merchandise under his stewardship as creative director. It’s already clear that after just a year into the job, Felloni’s love of 1950s fashion and architecture is an abiding influence on his work. During our chat, he reveals he's also passionate about jewellery from the era, which raises the question of whether his vast collection of antique bling could spark a new category of accessories.

“For now, I’m really focused on shoes and bags, but jewellery could be something interesting for Vivier,” says Felloni, smartly casual in a crisp shirt buttoned up to the top, an antique jewelled necklace, casual trousers and trainers. His goal, he adds, is to enliven the brand by not limiting himself to the codes of the house. “The brand is so beautiful and I want to do it justice.”

The Italian designer’s upbringing was similar to that of many great shoemakers. “I grew up around shoes at my uncle’s shoe factory, and I spent so much time playing with leather and heels as a child,” he recalls. Felloni then honed his skills working at Helmut Lang, Prada, Christian Dior and Miu Miu, where he was the head accessories designer, before moving to Roger Vivier. 

See also: Roger Vivier Hotel Vivier Cocktail Party

Photo: Courtesy of Roger Vivier
Photo: Courtesy of Roger Vivier

Only the third person to helm the luxury brand since its inception in 1937—following Bruno Frisoni’s 16-year tenure and Roger Vivier’s before that—Felloni knew he had big shoes to fill. He admits he was “a little nervous in the beginning,” but his appointment was “a big honour and dream come true.”  

Diving into the atelier’s archive was one of his firsts tasks, though only to get to know the brand, not to copy designs. “I have a very comfortable relationship with archives … I won’t take something vintage and replicate it. Copying makes something look old. I take inspiration from the essence of the object. You have to take the feeling and make it something modern.”

Adrian Cheng, Jennifer Cheng, Gherardo Felloni and Angie Ng and Hotel Vivier in Hong Kong (Photo: Hong Kong Tatler)
Adrian Cheng, Jennifer Cheng, Gherardo Felloni and Angie Ng and Hotel Vivier in Hong Kong (Photo: Hong Kong Tatler)

The Hotel Vivier pop-up, an immersive experience staged at China Tang in March following editions in Paris, New York and Tokyo, was Felloni’s idea of presenting himself and his first Roger Vivier collection to the world in a unique, personal way.

Passing through the rooms of Hotel Vivier was like entering scenes in a film; spaces between fantasy and reality where different artistic professions—from sculptor to photographer, dancer to opera singer—were brought to life. He describes Hotel Vivier as “a place like no other, where women reveal all the richness, complexity, beauty and intensity of their personalities.” 

Felloni’s aim was for visitors to experience Hotel Vivier as a journey of discovery similar to his own, with guests making “their own discoveries at every turn and inside every room, meeting the characters who inspire me every day.”

See also: Roger Vivier Hotel Vivier Cocktail Party


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