KCIDigital Archives

The KCI Digital Archives on the KCI website presents image and text information for the objects in the collection, arranged in chronological order.

Evening Pumps

© The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Taishi Hirokawa

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Evening Pumps

Late 1950s

Roger Vivier
Christian Dior
Christian Dior, Roger Vivier, SUR MESURES
Beige silk georgette with gemstones and silver embroidery.
24cm (length) / 7cm (width) / 6cm (height of heel)
Inventory Number(s)
AC5418 86-31-2AB

These magnificent, jewelry-like evening pumps featuring rhinestones and silver thread embroidery is one of the iconic designs by shoe designer Roger Vivier [1913-1998]. Vivier was studying sculpture at art school Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts when a friend asked him to design a pair of shoes which went on to be highly acclaimed, with Vivier then undergoing training in the mid-1920s to become a shoe designer. Dior hired Vivier as shoe designer when the former opened his shoe atelier in 1953, and over the next decade, Vivier became famous for his shoe designs for Dior, with both Dior and Vivier’s names appearing on the labels on the shoes. Roger Vivier went on to establish his eponymous brand in 1963.
Vivier’s shoes are highly original—as can be seen in the delicate toe and the innovative shape of the heel—and at the same time are brimming with sophisticated details, elevating his shoes to works of art. Famous women of the day became huge fans of Vivier’s shoes. These shoes were worn by model Suzy Parker [1932-2003] who symbolized 1950s fashion.