Last night, French shoe designer Robert Clergerie feted 30 years of design at Bergdorf's ritzy shoe salon, chuckling and catching up with colleagues and admirers against the backdrop of his magnificent Fall 2010 collection (showcased on a cake-like structure of tiered marble).
The new collection, an amalgam of funky new styles and tried-and-true favorites, embodied everything we've come to expect from this designer: fresh, forward-thinking styles that still feel relevant season after season. A low-heeled python bootie, for example, was simultaneously 1963 and 2010.
The current fashion climate puts tremendous emphasis on innovation and technology, but Clergerie claims the key to maintaining a successful global brand is, above all, consistency. And with signature "chaussures de luxe" selling out in boutiques throughout Europe, Russia and the United States, he should know.
"I have learned to be serious, to be consistent, because if you want to last you cannot cheat," said Clergerie. "You have to be serious to offer your customer the product for the price they pay."