LUXURYCULTURE.COM - Bruno takes a bow

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Shoe designer Bruno Frisoni sweeps women off their feet.

Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but designer Bruno Frisoni comes a close second, creating fantasy footwear for the well heeled.


Bruno Frisoni is God's gift to women: charming, handsome and with a passion bordering on obsession for creating heavenly heels. The first signs of the 46-year-old designer's fixation with footwear began at an early age. He recalls, "When I was about six or seven years old, I was in church on Christmas Eve, wearing my Derby perforated shoes – they were classics for boys. It was a long service and after a while I started studying my feet, counting the number of holes in the perforation. My second influence was of course my mother's shoes. She is Italian and it was in the 60s, so she was wearing stilettos. They had a beautiful abstract pattern and dark and light colours, with a very narrow silhouette as I remember."

A passion for fashion led Frisoni to Paris where he began his career as an accessories designer to the city's legendary fashion houses, from Christian Lacroix to Yves Saint Laurent, before finally launching his own collection in 1999. As word spread, it was only a matter of time before the designer opened his first boutique to cope with the demand as divas and doyennes of fashion made a seasonal pilgrimage, earning him the reputation as creator of the hottest heels in town.

In 2003 Frisoni was appointed Artistic Director of the legendary house of Roger Vivier, creator of the revolutionary stiletto shoe in 1954. "I always loved his work so it's a huge honour. It's amazing; it's a lot of work, but it's a fantastic opportunity," he admits. While classically inclined clients favour his modern interpretation of the master's iconic style, his own label caters to a more daring, girlier clientele, including Beyoncé Knowles and Christina Aguilera – ardent followers of Frisoni.

As he takes high heels to fantastic new heights he wondrously wraps lengths of ribbon in sumptuous binding, creating the sexiest slingbacks. "At the moment I'm kind of obsessed with making women's feet look like a present – like delivering a woman to a man as a present. My collections have always been related to the relationship between people; like attraction and creating desire. Maybe that's why people say my shoes are sexy, because it's not about sex its about creating desire. I think that life is about desire and seduction. I like to be seduced and to seduce people," he smiles.

What inspired you to become a shoe designer?
I never thought I would be a shoe designer. I'm involved in fashion because I've loved drawing since I was a kid. As I have to work, I find it better to work and have fun and pleasure at the same time. I've been fond of fashion since I was about 15 or 16. I loved Sylvie Vartan because she was dressed in Dior or Yves Saint Laurent and as a kid I loved the illustrations of Kiraz. Those were my first loves in fashion.

Do you have a particular person in mind when you are designing?
My friend Marie Christophe, she's a sculptor, very Kiraz looking. I don't have anybody really famous, except that I love Cate Blanchett. She's an exceptional looking woman, I love the fragility of her skin and her strong personality. I find her very inspiring, although it changes with the season. It could be someone like Diana Vreeland who's a strong look, with a lot of personality.

Which are your favourite Bruno Frisoni shoes?
The ones that are successful. I'm still not tired of Beau Bow, because when it's a success, I feel that this shoe is really me. Also I love bows. I love to play with ribbon. I also love the platforms which I call Hysterically Bow, because they are 40s style excess. I need at least one item which is excessive. It has three bows. When you wear it, you tie the ribbon through the bow and tie that into a bow.

Which is the hot shoe of this season?
The tartan slingback. I designed it three seasons ago and I'm still including it in the summer collection; it's still a great seller. It's unique. You can find shoes with bows and ribbons in other collections but you won't find anything like this, it is very specific. They are very easy to understand, very feminine, glamorous and very of the moment.

What do you have planned for the future?
I've just launched a new clutch bag for summer 2007 called clic clack because it has a pull open closure; it's very simple. It has chains interwoven with ribbon, it's very frilly. It's nice because it looks very 40s-to-60s. For winter 2007 I will develop two or three models – maybe another evening bag and two day bags. I'm also planning to develop other items for the Frisoni label; maybe more bags, and to continue to develop the men's line.

What is your definition of luxury?
Uniqueness, exclusivity, these are luxury to me. Also, to be happy is a luxury. You could put me in the most beautiful place, but if I'm not happy, I'll want to leave.

If luxury were a moment, when would it be?
That first moment of attraction; when you know you like someone and they like you. Even if it doesn't happen, in that moment there's always the possibility.

If luxury were a place, where would it be?
A beautiful place in the Mediterranean, on the rocks, by the sea, with friends. It should also be a place where I don't have to take care of anyone, to feel like a guest.

If luxury were a person?
Somebody who always says 'Yes' I guess. I hate when people resist me!

If luxury were an object?
An Aston Martin. It's fabulous and it can drive you anywhere. Also, again, the house on the rocks in the Meditteranean.

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