The fact that Christian Louboutin began his career at the age of 16 designing shoes for the Folies-Bergere should tell you a lot about the sensibilities of this red-hot shoe designer. The fact that his hero is fellow Parisian Roger Vivier, whose sculptural high heels have graced the feet of everyone from Josephine Baker to Catherine Deneuve, should tell you everything else.

The Follies account for Louboutin’s sense of showmanship, whether it’s a gold-plated leather and leopard-print sandal or a thigh-high deerskin boot. As for Vivier, he was a master not just of shape but of texture, too, which may help explain why Louboutin enjoys working with materials as varied as python and Lucite.

But for all these influences, Louboutin’s high heels, mules, boots, and sandals are uniquely his own, the most obvious example being his practice of painting the soles of his shoes nail-polish red, no matter what the upper looks like. Indeed, this single device almost sums up the Louboutin aesthetic—brash, surprising, and undeniably eye catching.

After his introduction to fashion from a costumer’s perspective, Louboutin worked for Charles Jourdan and Yves Saint Laurent. He opened his own boutique in Paris in 1991 and today has shops in major cities around the world.

A good pair of Louboutins often makes Manolo Blahnik’s creations look like sensible Oxfords. Sure he does ballet flats, but Louboutin’s are dyed in purple, red, or yellow, after which they are covered with spikes. When Louboutin conjures a “safari shoe,” he sees a stiletto skinned in snake.

Want a Louboutin Mary Jane? Be prepared for a pump in multi-hued canvas with a 5-inch heel and an open toe. And his short boots are secured to the foot with all manner of straps that variously resemble bondage devices or slender seat belts.

Louboutin shoes excel at unusual combinations of materials, such as fishnet paired with patent leather. Like nature, Louboutin abhors a vacuum, which may explain why a pair of pu...

Heels, too, get the Louboutin treatment. Chunky ones are carved and painted gold, curved ones are meant to mirror the lines of a woman’s body. Up front, below the toes and ball of the foot, Louboutin frequently hides modest, flat platforms, making his 5-inch heels a bit more manageable. Even the lowly espadrille gets a Louboutin makeover—his versions feature uppers of lilac ribbon, tanned leather, or floral prints, with ropey platform wedges below.

Naturally people who make their living based on the impression they create are drawn to Louboutin shoes. J-Lo, who has a self-professed weakness for his heels, recorded a hit single called “Louboutins” that describes a woman leaving an unworthy boyfriend, not in slippers and a veil of tears but defiantly in 5-inch heels.

Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas is similarly fond of her Louboutins—she has been photographed countless times strutting the stage in her silver, above-the-knee Louboutin Supra Fifre boots, whose heel height rivals J-Lo’s. This is footwear that projects power and independence, although it’s a safe bet that the hip-hop diva has someone to help her with each boot’s 21 hooks.

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Recent News: Christian Louboutin Shoes

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Christian Louboutin unveils new rainbow of nail colors at $50 a bottle
CultureMap Austin, September 1st

You yearned for the deep shine and intensity of Christian Louboutin's signature red lacquering your nails, and the shoe designer obliged with the launch of Rouge Louboutin. The next evolution of the exclusive brand is the unveiling of the other 30...Read more

WATCH - A Model Recommends: Christian Louboutin nail lacquer, September 1st

These aren't any ordinary nail polishes - these are Christian Louboutin nail polishes, recently launched as part of the brand's Beauté collection, with enough cult and ceremony around them that our beauty vlogger Ruth Crilly, aka A Model Recommends...Read more

Christian Louboutin Adds More Shades To Its Nail Polish Collection
Pursuitist, August 30th

Leading the debut collection of nail paints, Rouge Louboutin is to nails what red soles are to feet. Christian Louboutin forayed into the world of dressing up nails last month. Adding more colors to the range, the French fashion house has expanded the...Read more

Sonia Kruger celebrates turning 49 on Mornings with a Christian Louboutin and ...
Daily Mail, August 27th

Mornings presenter Sonia Kruger celebrated her 49th birthday on Thursday with a Christian Louboutin birthday cake, pictured with co-host David Campbell. Dressed elegantly in a midnight blue silk camisole and floral pencil skirt, teamed with a pair of...Read more

Christian Louboutin Nail Enamel: Beauty Meets Fashion
Vanity Fair, August 27th

“The red sole was born from red nail polish. I am giving back to the nails what the shoe took from the nails many years ago,” says Chrisitian Louboutin. He designed his first Pensee shoe in 1992, and although he had drawn the shoe perfectly to his...Read more

Christian Louboutin steps ahead with beauty collection
Los Angeles Times, August 17th

The polish is being sold at Christian Louboutin boutiques and major department stores — in the shoe salon, not at the beauty counter. Color collections will be released seasonally, along with the shoes. It's a beauty product as accessory, and at $50 a...Read more

Christian Louboutin comes out with a nail polish as luxe as his shoes
The Providence Journal, August 14th

First, the bottle: It's beautiful -- eight inches tall, much of that a black top inspired by the sky-high, literally unwearable stilettos Louboutin created for a 2007 photo exhibit. The line's signature color is the trademark-protected, rich red of the...Read more

Angelina Jolie's Christian Louboutin Maleficent shoes can be yours for almost £1k
The Independent, August 7th

Legendary shoe designer Christian Louboutin has launched an exclusive made-to-measure range of shoes that he designed with Angelina Jolie for her Maleficent promotional tour. The patent court-like shoes, which are handmade at Louboutin's Paris atelier, ...Read more