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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Angelina Jolie $1495 Christian Louboutin Maleficent Shoes Sell Out!RumorFix, August 18th
But that is not stopping some very well-heeled women from snapping up the Christian Louboutin Malangeli shoes that the actress helped design. A Louboutin rep told RumorFix, “We have already sold out on pre-orders on the Malangeli line available in both ...Read more
Christian Louboutin steps ahead with beauty collectionLos Angeles Times, August 17th
Christian Louboutin doesn't just want to paint the soles of your shoes red. He wants to paint your fingernails and, eventually, your lips, eyes and cheeks. This month, the famed French footwear designer launches his beauty collection, which has been 2...Read more
Christian Louboutin Reopens London Store With Modish RedesignPSFK, August 15th
Christian Louboutins have been deemed the Most Prestigious Women's Shoe by The Luxury Institute for three years in a row, an honor that many would agree is well deserved. Since its founding in 1991, the brand has become increasingly popular, being ...Read more
Christian Louboutin comes out with a nail polish as luxe as his shoesThe 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 Collaborates With Christian Louboutin To Create New 'Maleficent ...Headlines & Global News, August 13th
These shoes were personalized heels created by Christian Louboutin in his Paris atelier, according to WWD. The French designer took to Instagram to announce that he had "joined forces" with Jolie to create Malangeli, a ruby red patent and mesh pump ...Read more
Bella Blisset's beauty buzz: Dior sees red, plus Christian Louboutin shares ...Daily Mail, August 9th
Back in the 1950s, Christian Dior would usher models wearing shots of red down the catwalk to capture the audience's attention. He named these models 'the Trafalgars'. Now a new 5 Couleurs eye palette called Trafalgar carries a burgundy at its core...Read more
Christian Louboutin Launches Red Nail ColorForbes, July 30th
The tale of Christian Louboutin's red soles is one made for the fashion history books. The shoe designer had the brilliant idea of adding that jolt of scarlet color to the bottom of his shoes after seeing his assistant paint her nails red at the studio...Read more
Christian Louboutin Bottles Signature Red SolesForbes, July 25th
A golden rule in fashion is your shoes must match your bag, but Christian Louboutin thinks your nails should match too. Releasing of a line of high-end nail polishes, Louboutin has come full circle from the humble beginnings of his signature red soles...Read more