Zizi – That’s Shoe-biz!

Zizi Jeanmaire

Zizi by Florsheim

Coming up with the name for a new product can be testing… When it comes to, say, shoes, for example, it might need to be a little sassy, easy to remember, and just exotic enough.

We can thank Florsheim president David Venner’s wife, Yazni, for coming up with the name of the new women’s range for the heritage shoe brand. Zizi by Florsheim is named for legendary French dancer and cabaret artiste Zizi Jeanmaire, who was certainly sassy and, once discovered, unforgettable.

The partner of choreographer Roland Petit also appeared in a number of Hollywood films, including Folies-Bergère and Anything Goes, alongside Donald O’Connor and Bing Crosby…

While in Paris a few years ago, I saw an exhibition at the Fondation Pierre Bergé–Yves Saint Laurent of Saint Laurent’s theatre and film costumes. Zizi and YSL had quite the collaborative relationship, with the designer taking care of costumes for a number of Petit’s ballets, as well as Zizi’s solo cabaret shows, including her famous routine, “Mon Truc aux Plumes”…

Frankly, anyone who can dance like that in heels deserves to have a range of shoes named after them. Zizi and YSL became firm friends, on and off-stage…

And the new shoes? There is everything from colourful patent pumps to these showgirl-worthy evening heels with a touch of sparkle. Zizi would surely approve.


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