Red says a lot of things to a lot of people. Danger, passion, tomato’s… but to fashionistas like us red has one association, and one alone. Louboutins.
Christian Louboutin wasn’t always associated with the highest heels and Pantone 18-1663 TPX, in the early days Christian spent his time partying and working at the Folies Bergères as a backstage assistant to the entertainers. This glamorous world inspired his designs, and he has been quoted as saying he believes that ‘in every woman there is a showgirl’.
1976 marked the year of Louboutin’s obsession with shoes, after seeing a sign forbidding women from wearing sharp stiletto heels at the Musée national des Arts d'Afrique et d'Océanie. This prompted the young designer to think big and think strong, he decided to create works of art that broke rules and made women feel empowered.
This ferocious appetite for fierce inspiration drove Louboutin to Egypt and India, where he collected ideas to fuel his designs. Upon returning to Paris he begun a portfolio of elaborate drawings of high heels, which he took to top couture houses. Charles Jourdan was captivated by the ideas and employed Louboutin, allowing him to learn and hone his skills. From here, he moved on to Roger Vivier, where he became an apprentice in the designer’s atelier.
Eventually Louboutin became a freelance designer and went on to design for some of the most loved fashion houses, including Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. However, with the help of two backers he set up Christian Louboutin in 1991.
His first customer was Princess Caroline of Monaco. In front of a fashion journalist, she complimented the salon which went on to sky-rocket the brand’s presence. Thanks to this seal of approval, and the undeniable beauty and craftsmanship of the shoes Louboutin went on to dress the feet of the world’s elite. Fans include, but are by no means limited to: Diane Von Furstenberg, Madonna and Sarah Jessica Parker. These three, along with every It Girl, sophisticate and princess make up the client base of Louboutin. Sarah Jessica Parker even wore a pair for her wedding – is there anything more chic?
Now of course, Louboutin isn’t Louboutin without a red sole. Legend has it that a prototype shoe was being worked on, but something just didn’t feel right about it. One of the assistants was painting her nails at the time, and Louboutin grabbed the polish and slapped it all over the sole of the shoe. From then on an icon was born, and no Louboutin has gone on sale without it.
There is so much that we love about the iconic Louboutin shoe, from the blood red sole to the impossibly high heel, with all that glamour somethings got to give, and in this instance, it’s comfort. Even the man himself is on record saying “I’m not going to say a 5 inch heel is comfortable. No, it is not comfortable”. But to be honest, when the shoes look this good, we’ll take beauty with a side of pain any day of the week.
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