There's nothing quite like escaping the confines of daily life in favor of a foreign city, where a safe haven and temporary home awaits you in the form of a hotel. That same spirit was present in the heart of New York City on a blustery December evening, where Maison Roger Vivier installed a one-night-only event to honor its newly appointed creative director Gherardo Felloni.
The surreal event turned a sprawling West Village townhouse into something out of a Wes Anderson film, where the fashion A-list, like Coco Rocha, Dianna Agron, Nina Garcia, found themselves in an immersive experience inspired by classic hotel scenes, sets, and soundtracks of cult films. Delighted by outlandish characters—contortionists, harpists, and kleptomaniac French maids included—guests discovered both a universe and a story, while pieces from Felloni's first collection populated the space.
In honor of the magical occasion, L'Officiel USA spoke with Felloni about all things Hotel Vivier, antique jewelry acquisitions, and of course, where he hopes to take the storied house of Roger Vivier next.
When did this vision first come to you?
You know, the hotel came because I really love the idea that you see shoes in a place that is alive. At first, I was thinking about a house, then the idea evolved into a hotel. Today, everybody travels a lot, so the hotel is something for everybody, but nobody is always [permanently] there.
When you first heard the news that you were going to be the creative director of Maison Roger Vivier, how did you celebrate and how did you react?
When the headhunter proposed that to me, my answer was [Yes], I want to do it. I want to sign the contract no matter what. I was really happy, really excited—it was a dream come true.
How has working at Vivier been different than your other posts?
[Well], Vivier has a heritage for shoes which is amazing, that no other brand has. Now I have the chance to express myself totally because I'm the creative director. In a way it's really heavy, I have a lot of stress about it, but in [another] way, it's easier. When I feel something and I like something, I do it.
Who would the ideal guest of the Hotel Vivier be?
Everybody! Everybody's the ideal guest. I like every woman, so the idea that you have so many different women, of course in Paris we have more room so it's bigger, but that's something where everybody's a guest. Everybody's welcome.
You're a tenor. How would you describe the relationship between music and what you do?
I think everything can be an inspiration in life. For me, music is a great inspiration because it can have color, can be fast, can be slow, can be dark, can be light, and can have a lot of references from the mise en scène, costumes, wigs. It's an entire world.
I also read you collect antique jewelry, what's the latest piece you've added to your collection?
It's a pearl that comes from a Milanese noble family.
Is it big?
Not like the Marie Antoinette one, unfortunately, but for me, it's big [laughs].
Finally, where are you hoping to take Vivier in the future?
My goal is to keep Vivier alive, contemporary, and fresh—as Vivier has always been.
Explore more Hotel Vivier below.