Christian Louboutin, sounds familiar? Has to be for the top shots of the fashion world, and for the ladies who are in vogue with the latest trends in the fashion world, and of course how can the footwear lovers not be conversant with this world famous brand! When asked ‘whether you have any idea about this brand?’ or ‘whether you would like to have a pair of Christian Louboutin?’ the answers by most of the fashion conscious ladies would be a unanimous yes! Founded in 1991, this French based company made it big in the competitive shoe business by taking the customised approach of shoe building. Before starting his own range of products by his own name, he used to work for same renowned designers like Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, but a trivia is associated with his initiative to start this company. It is said that he once saw a notice at a museum saying that high heels were not allowed because they damage the floor, this infuriated him and he decided to take these people to task and started designing high heels, under his own brand name!
The man behind this world renowned brand, Christian Louboutin himself, was born and brought up in Paris, France. After finishing his academics, he started his career as an apprentice to the noted shoe designer Roger Vivier and as a freelance shoe designer for another celebrated shoemaker Chanel. After gaining considerable knowledge and experience in this line he kicked off with his own line of shoe wears, and opened the first store in paris in 1991. It is believed that being the only brother to three sisters played an influential role in developing his taste for fashion and appreciation for feminism. He was very much fascinated by this glamorous world of fashion and started making sketches at an early age, even neglecting his studies, as a result getting expelled from his school. But he hardly cared, as he knew he was destined to the next big name in the glam world. “I didn’t care because I felt so different from my peers.” He said in an interview to Harper’s Bazaar. He learnt a lot from Vivier. He once told “Vivier taught me that the most important part of the shoe is the body and the heel”. He also drew inspirations from extensive travelling to forbidden countries like Syria and Uzbekistan.
He famously explained his initiative to start his signature red soles which went on to become iconic in the industry in his application of U.S trademark. He quoted, “In 1992 I incorporated the red sole into the design of my shoes. This happened by accident as I felt that the shoes lacked energy so I applied red nail polish to the sole of a shoe. This was such a success that it became a permanent fixture.” He justified that he chose red over all the other colours because “red is more than a colour. It is a symbol of love, of blood, of passion.” One of the most reputed journals on shoe wears “Footwear News” stated that the brand’s signature red sole was a “subtle status symbol” and caught the fascination of many celebrities across the globe, even beating the big luxury brands. Throwing light on his idea of red soles he once said “I did not really choose the red sole. It’s more like the red sole came to me and had to stay with me. It started as a happy accident, which I kept. I was very inspired by pop art so all my drawings were really full of colours.” Even the leader in dolls ‘Barbie’ came out with a special Louboutin edition with red heels!
The Louboutin shoes had a profound influence in the fashion domain. The red soles became such a huge hit that Christian Louboutin went on to the extent of trade marking his red sole heels in the U.S.A. in 2007 so that no other company could make and sell it. Apart from his trademark stilettos and red soles he also let his imagination fly and went on to try new and innovative things like he came up with an entire range with transparent heels in which it seemed that flower petals were floating. The brand is the most fiercely desired shoe wears among the ladies with having a great celebrity clientele. He says that a woman’s feeling in his shoes fascinates him and gives him a reason to design shoes for them. According to him, woman want to look sexy for other, more than themselves, and this feeling gives them self confidence. Another unique feature of his shoes is that it is entirely hand-made and customised, to the extent that even the trademark is etched without any intervention of machines. The impact is very well testified by the fact Jeniffer Lopez released a song called Louboutin.
The Christian Louboutin shoes have a life changing impact on the lives of the women. They also make some flats apart from their trademark heels. He has very strange ideologies on shoes. He has been many a times criticised for making such high heels which are supposed to be uncomfortable. But he retorts back by saying that he hates this entire concept of comfort. He believes that not wearing heel shoes just because they are not comfortable are like saying that ‘Well, we’re not really in love, but we’re in a comfortable relationship.’ According to him comfort deprives you of many ideas and should be done away with. He puts light on the small intricacies of a woman’s nature. He says that when a woman tries a shoe and checks it out in mirror, she’s not really checking whether the shoe suits her or not, in spite of the fact that she is trying a shoe. According to him “When a woman buys a pair of shoes, she never looks at the shoe. She stands up and looks in the mirror, she looks at the breast, the ass, from the front, from the side, blah blah blah. If she likes herself, then she considers the shoe.”
The large number of fake Louboutin shoes and their replicas bears a testimony to the immense acceptability of the brand, and how desperately ladies want to grab this brand. These shoes make you feel charming and your existence totally vital. It makes you feel one notch above the horde of fashionistas. In fashion industry and in glamorous world these shoes have become a synonym to quality and layout. Starting with a single store in Paris there are more than twenty-five stores as of today, apart from the online stores in the U.K. His first famous client was the Princess of Monaco, who happened to be in the store in the presence of a media journalist, and from that day onwards, there was no looking back. The famous names which grace his clientele list include Madonna, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Taylor, Catherine Deneuve Cher, Princess Caroline, New York-based designer Diane von Furstenberg and, Gwyneth Paltrow just to name a few. Among these there were some who wore these shoes on the most important day of their lives, their wedding day!