A French icon has been recognized for its excellent design and enduring appeal. The Museum of Modern Art (New York) announced today that Repetto’s “Cendrillon” would be added to its permanent collection.
Rose Repetto was the mother of Roland Petit, the French choreographer. In her little atelier on rue de la Paix, she made shoes for members of the corps de ballet of the Opéra de Paris.
In 1956, she was approached by Brigitte Bardot, who asked her to create a shoe that she could wear in her upcoming film, Vadim’s “Et Dieu créa la femme” (“And God Created Woman”). Bardot, who had been trained as a ballerina, wanted a shoe that was as comfortable and flexible as a ballet shoe, but that could be worn for street wear. The result was Cendrillon (Cinderella).
The film was a knockout on both sides of the Atlantic (particularly in America, where it was considered quite risqué) and Bridget Bardot became an international sex symbol. Given Bardot’s influence, as well as its comfort and versatility, it’s no surprise that the shoe became a fashion sensation and, ultimately, a true classic — up-to-date, yet timeless.