Christian Louboutin’s famous red lacquered soles on all of his footwear masterpieces have established him as one of the living legends in the shoe fashion world. His imaginative yet sexy heels are the foot candy of every high-profile celebrity as well as every woman in the world who loves high fashion.
Knowing more about this famous shoe designer will help us understand his claim to fame. While he’s an established name now, it’s worth learning what made him so successful in the first place. We’ll hence take a look at a summary of his life below:
Birthplace and Early Life
Louboutin was born in Paris, France on January 7, 1963. He was the only son of a cabinet maker father and a homemaker mother. He also has three sisters. Sources say that Louboutin’s father wasn’t around very much when he was a young boy, so much of his time was spent with the females of the family. This might have developed his interest in women’s accessories such as shoes and handbags at a very early age.
When he was younger, Louboutin actually displayed a lack of attention and interest towards school. His passion for the fashion world, especially shoe design, happened by accident.
The Beginning of Shoe Design
While he was taking a trip to a museum in Paris, a sign indicating that high heel shoes were not allowed inside the premises caught his attention. Since Louboutin had yet to see a high-heel shoe himself, the sign fascinated him. Since his curiosity was piqued, he began sketching shoes, ignoring his school studies.
Finally, Louboutin was expelled from school when he was 16 and took up his first job at Folies Bergeres, a local cabaret. Here, he was responsible for all kinds of jobs, which included assisting the entertainers as well as creating shoes for them.
Learning Shoe Design
After some soul-searching experiences in Egypt and India, Louboutin finally returned to Paris. It was then that he started to create and put together his portfolio of shoe designs. His assiduous efforts got him a job with Charles Jourdan in the early 1980s, where he learned more about shoe design and the shoe industry.
Armed with experience in shoe designing, he felt confident to strike out on his own. After working as a freelance shoe designer for a time, Louboutin opened his first shop in Paris in 1991. One of his first famous customers was Princess Caroline of Monaco. It was her public compliments about Louboutin’s high heel shoes that greatly helped amplify his name and prominence.
Soon Louboutin was one of the rising names in the high fashion world. But he felt that something was still missing. As with his discovery of the high heel shoes before, the idea of the red soles also flashed into his consciousness by accident. This inspiration hit him after seeing one of his assistants painting her nails red. Soon, he launched his first red-soled shoes and hence managed to carve out his unique niche in the high-end shoe market.
Louboutin’s red-lacquered soles in his very artistic yet sexy stiletto heels ultimately placed him on the global fashion’s elite list. His creations have been worn by many celebrities including Hollywood stars such as Madonna, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Lopez and Sarah Jessica Parker, whose fashionable character in Sex In The City often paraded in Loboutin’s heels.
Protection from Copies
Louboutin makes sure that his designs are protected from copycats and fakes. He even sued his former employer Yves Saint-Laurent for copying the red-sole design on some of its shoes. To combat fraud in cyberspace, Louboutin also set up his own website to address issues regarding counterfeits and knock-offs which have been sold online.
Louboutin owns several shops in many parts of the world, including the US, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and China. Even if his shoes aren’t available locally in certain areas, many people in several countries still covet them and would order them online.
Louboutin also extended his fashion sense outside the women’s shoe territory by launching a line of men’s shoes – still with the trademark outer soles. Louboutin has now also entered the market for fashionable handbags and soon will introduce a new beauty line.
His other offerings now include perfumes, lipsticks, nail polishes, etc. Even outside of the fashion world, Louboutin has managed to establish and success in quite a few creative challenges. He’s worked with the likes of David Lynch (the famous director) to put together a photo exhibit back in 2007. More recently, in 202, Louboutin also contributed to the design of “Feu (Fire)”, which was a show at Crazy Horse, the renowned Parisian club.
Pricing and Inspiration
Other than the nail polish leading to the red soles, this designer generally takes inspiration from a colorful imagination. He was also reported as saying that he often thinks of how a courtesan would live out her life within a circus. The vivid images this conjures up explain his creations quite a bit.
With his passion and talent, Louboutin manages to sell upwards of 500,000 pairs of his surreal, beautiful shoes every single year. This is quite a feat, as the shoes can cost around $400 to more than $6,000.
Even though Louboutin sued other companies for the use of his red soles idea, the European Court of Justice ruled that he could not claim the trademark to the color of shoe soles. This happened in February 2018, thus weakening the designer’s claims.
However, this downturn didn’t stick around for long, as the top court in the European Union later ruled that the shape regulation wasn’t applicable in Louboutin’s case. The final ruling was then sent over to the Dutch courts.
With all the multifaceted businesses that the successful Christian Louboutin has launched, one thing makes him instantly recognizable – those red soles that have made his name shine the brightest in the high fashion world. However, his secret to success is probably the hard work and learning he put in during the early days of his career.