The Story Behind the King of Red Soles – Christian Louboutin

Christian Louboutin is accredited with making women look like classy style icons with his stunning creations.

Picture credit: Shutterstock.com

He has created high heel celebrity frenzy, inspired serious desire among women all over the world for his shoes and most importantly, turned the simple red soles into a legit status symbol through sheer genius. And so, you must wonder, how did his coveted red soles become so popular?

How it all began?

Born in France with Cameroonian roots, Christian Louboutin grew up with his mother and three sisters that later greatly influenced his designs. He had little interest in school while growing up, and Louboutin stumbled on his life’s passion through total serendipity. 

On a visit to the Musée des arts Africains et Oceaniens, a woman’s shoe was crossed with a red line. The authorities did this to protect the parquet hardwood floors of the museum. This picture caught the fascination of young Louboutin, who claimed that he had never seen such shoes before and the image stayed with him forever. Soon, he began to fill notebooks with his own sketches of beautiful women’s shoes. Roger Vivier’s, a shoe designer with Christian Dior further inspired Louboutin through his book, which was a gift from a friend.

Expelled from school three times, Louboutin ran away from home. He lived in Egypt and India and finally returned to Paris. Louboutin found himself a job with the famous Parisian cabaret Folies Bergère, where he performed all sorts of tasks for the dancers including designing shoes for them. His earliest designs were for the feet of the graceful dancers in the show. It is here that he understood the fundamentals of shoemaking and that landed him an opportunity to work with Charles Jourdan at Romans, who at the time created shoes for the very famous house of Christian Dior. 

Louboutin sought freelance opportunities with prestigious designer houses like Chanel, Maud Frizon and Yves Saint Laurent. At this point, he decided to completely reorient himself and pursue landscape architecture. He began writing features for Vogue and designing gardens but soon realized he missed designing women’s shoes.

On hearing that a new boutique was available in the Vero-Dodat gallerie, a hip, stylish and upmarket Parisian space that was located very close to the Louvre, Louboutin seized the opportunity. Accompanied by two other friends, Louboutin officially opened the company, “Christian Louboutin”. By 2011, Christian Louboutin became the most searched brand online.

The Birth of the Iconic Red Soles

The lure of the red soles is irresistible, and it is the trademark of every pair of Louboutins, whether they are pumps, flats, or sneakers. The inspiration for this legendary sole came from a bottle of nail polish. Yes, that’s right, an innocuous bottle of nail polish had a huge role in Louboutin becoming a ubiquitous brand!

Christian-Louboutin-Shoes
The iconic red soles!

In 1993, when he was already in the business for about 2 years, Louboutin was working on a prototype. His assistant was painting her nails a bright red color. He instinctively grabbed the bottle of red nail polish and slathered the soles of his prototype with this bright red color. Voila! The shoes just attained a different character and style altogether.

The company Christian Louboutin, which is a global fortune today, gained a footing with something as simple as a tiny bottle of nail polish. Like Louboutin says, if it had not been for an assistant painting her nails at the right moment, the red soles may never have been part of his legacy. He selected the color because it is flirtatious, engaging and the color of passion.

The Christian Louboutin Look

Louboutin always wanted to create shoes that made women feel confident, empowered and one that broke all the rules. Although he does make women sandals, sneakers and other lower heeled styles, he is typically associated with dressy eveningwear designs with decorative and unique touches.

From lighthearted designs, women boots to jewelry-studded stilettos, his collections have won over celebrity fans like Madonna, Nicole Kidman, Caroline de Monaco, Dita Von Deese and many more. There is something about these shoes that the A-list cannot resist. Seen everywhere, from red carpet events, movie premieres, airports, dinner parties to countless other places, Louboutin pumps and other Louboutin footwear have a huge draw.

Christian Louboutin has entered into collaborations with other accomplished designers like Azzedine Alaia, Jean Paul Gaultier, Diane Von Furstenberg and many others. He designed a shoe that was worn for the finale of the runway Yves Saint Laurent show in 2002 and for the first-time Yves Saint Laurent associated its brand with another designer and called it the “Christian Louboutin for Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture”

Louboutin has designed imaginative footwear season after season, and never ceases to amaze. Apart from women’s shoes, Louboutin now also has shoes for men, a line of fragrances, handbags and has also made a foray in the world of beauty.

Why Buy a Christian Louboutin?

Louboutin shoes are unlike anything else you will own. They do not need any introduction and the shoes display impeccable finishing, a high standard of craftsmanship, unparalleled quality and attention to detail. Every time you slip your feet in a pair of Louboutins, you know the value of your purchase, and that others certainly appreciate it too. And finally, while trends may come and go, red bottoms are forever a timeless trend.

history of Christian Louboutin
Christian Louboutin Black Crocodile Daffodile Pumps

If you’re yearning for your own pair of Louboutins, opt for a pair soon, because prices will always rise in the luxury market, they can start at $400 and go up to $6000. Louboutins are worth investing in and the famed red-bottom shoe deserves a place in every closet. You could find them at flagship Louboutin stores across the world or look for discounts through genuine and authenticated online portals.

Once you own the prized Christian Louboutin shoes, you can join the loyal Louboutin fans with the hashtag #LouboutinWorld and spice up your own social media image, while participating with thousands of other Louboutin lovers!

Swati Talwar

Global Content and India Office Head

Seasoned lover of the written word. Travel junkie and Hogwarts alumni. Currently composing notes for the upcoming fashion week. You can also call me Licorne Magique (don't ask me why!).

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