Christian Louboutin, luxury designer of glamourous shoes.
The House of Christian Louboutin, now an indisputable reference in the domain of luxury footwear, has made vertiginous heels his emblem. Even if the brand has widened its range of articles since it first started, now proposing ballet pumps and leather lace-ups, as well as a line of high-end leather goods, high-heeled ladies' shoes with those immediately identifiable red soles still represent its signature offering.
A teenage passion for women's footwear.
Even as a young boy, Christian Louboutin liked to go to the Folies Bergères to observe the shoes worn by the dancers there. His rather precocious fascination quickly led him to design shoes and his dream of coming up with the perfect curve finally steered him in the direction of French shoemaker Louis Jourdan, with whom he began his career in 1982. Ten years later, Christian Louboutin founded his own eponymous brand. He got the idea for the scarlet sole, now so characteristic of the label's shoes, from an unusual set of circumstances. One day, the designer caught himself watching his assistant applying red Chanel polish to her nails. He borrowed the jar from her and started painting the sole of one of his models with red nail varnish. This supposedly inconsequential act would give rise to the fashion house's instantly recognisable signature: footwear with the iconic red soles.
Christian Louboutin rapidly became the favourite shoemaker of a host of couturiers. Lanvin, Chloé, Givenchy, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Yves Saint Laurent, all the leading names in fashion were queueing to adopt Louboutin's ladies' shoes to enhance their ready-to-wear collections. From the Simple Pumps to the Biancas, from the So Kates to the Pigalles, the designer's collections of heels have become legendary and fashion buffs dream of adding these exceptional pieces to their wardrobe. In 2006, the luxury label inaugurated a shoemaking workshop for made-to-measure leather shoes, coveted by celebrities including Mika, Dita von Teese and Arielle Dombasle.
High heels, at the heart of the House of Louboutin.
Today, Louboutin also proposes a full range of leather goods, but the ladies' high heels are still the mainstay of the brand. With several different models, including the open-toed Very Privés, the round-toed Biancas and the pointed-toed Pigalles, Louboutin high heels embrace vertiginous heights and classic lines, the models sometimes adorned with pointed studs for a rock 'n' roll feel. Leather is the designer's material of choice, going so far as to produce models in exotic materials, like lizard, alligator, eel and ostrich skin. To break with tradition and bring a little newness to his signature designs, the shoemaker will use a mono colour or print to dress his creations in canvas, or be so bold as to use transparent or multicoloured PVC.
Over the years, the French designer has widened the selection of leather shoes he offers, now proposing ballet pumps, lace-up flatties and sneakers. High heels are, however, the shoes that best embody the essence of Louboutin. Among these, we find :