God forgive me, I interviewed Christian Louboutin while wearing a set of trainers. Not fancy sci-fi ones either, but properly old and grimy ones. Louboutin is one of the most famous shoe designers in the world and officially by far the most prestigious, according to independent ratings company Luxury Institute, which has named Christian Louboutin since the most desirable shoe brand in the world in the past 3 years. He or she is also the man that is credited, or blamed, for bringing the stiletto back into fashion. So wearing trainers to fulfill him is a bit like suggesting to Jamie Oliver that we meet at McDonald’s for lunch.
But – whaddyaknow – christian louboutins melbourne turns around his tiny and stiletto-filled office wearing trainers himself. (Although where mine say Converse, his say, in a discreet logo in the side, Christian Louboutin, which, presumably, would be useful should he forget his name.)
“I check out the face first. And when I glance at the face, I try to view the personality and, from that, guess what type of shoes this girl might have.”
Perhaps he was only tired. He had flown for the reason that morning from Dubai where he is about to open his 20th boutique – with another 13 planned this current year – and did not sleep in the plane “by any means”. And once he warms up so we turn the conversation away from strict business chat, he is fantastic fun, making dry remarks and then smiling quietly afterwards. At one point I ask if, having shod pretty much every celebrity on earth, from Madonna to France’s first lady Carla Bruni, there exists anyone left he’d like as a customer. His eyes skirt round the office, settling finally on a pair of particularly high black stilettos, studded all around with silver spikes. He turns back and replies, po-faced, “The Queen of England.”
For many years, perfume sales powered the fashion world. It became jeans. Now, more than ever before, it’s shoes and bags, and it is no coincidence that Louboutin arrived inside the 90s when this switch began. He, Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo’s Tamara Mellon are definitely the Holy Trinity from the luxury footwear market, having helped turn shoes from something you put in your feet to avoid splinters into fetish objects for women. Louboutin is currently at the top of that triangle.
Where Manolo Blahnik shoes are either plain or quirky, and Jimmy Choos get the distinct sheen of Eurotrash for them, Christian Louboutin shoes say one easy word: se-x. Everything on them – using their disco styles, for the aggressive thrust of your shoe’s curvature, for the almost por-nographic red sole, flashing observers from behind because the lady walks away – shouts se-x.
Seemingly every celebrity under the paparazzi sun, from Lady Gaga to Victoria Beckham, has proclaimed their passion for the person. But Louboutin himself proves to possess remarkably little curiosity about the international celebrity scene. Was he starstruck when, say, Madonna was photographed wearing his shoes? No, he wasn’t. But he was a little excited as he found out the first Mrs Johnny Hallyday was a fan – “Hallyday is a huge singer in France, you know.”
Louboutin also recently received the greatest honour a shoe designer can receive currently: his shoes should be featured within the new S-ex And Also The City film. This is not just an important plug, but a potentially controversial one, as Manolo Blahnik shoes were such a mainstay of your TV series that the term “Manolos” entered the lexicon. But is louboutin shoes australia excited?
He even refused to be on the Oprah Winfrey Show when she did an entire episode regarding how much she loves his shoes, which can be as close as possible get to being knighted in the united states. “They filmed the initial section of the show in Paris and helped me stand outside in the cold – so naturally I bought sick,” he says, still outraged through the cheek of it. “So when they said, ‘Come to Chicago’ [where Winfrey films her show], I said, ‘Are you crazy? I’m sick, my God!'”
Instead, Louboutin prefers his hobbies: landscaping (there are actually often plant details on his shoes), trapeze (they have a swing in his studio) and, occasionally, dancing. He recently made a film of himself tap dancing for Simon Fuller’s fashion website, Fashionair, which is actually a vision of unselfconscious joy (and, yes, he made these shoes).
He has been specifically redesigning his Paris apartment for 5yrs. “It’s not that I’m a perfectionist,” he says, before launching into a seven-minute anecdote about how precisely he’s made the builders redo the windows three times to get the angles right.
First and foremost, he works: supervising the factories, having meetings around the globe then, twice yearly, he will isolate himself in a of his four country houses (Egypt, Syria, France, Portugal) when he designs the latest collections.
Whenever we meet it’s the first day of Paris fashion week, a prospect that is not going to suffuse his face with joy. “I never was considering being a member of the style world – I just wanted to design shoes. I didn’t have any idea Vogue existed as i was being raised. Vogue, what is that?” he protests.
Not long ago, Louboutin was offered the job of designer at a major fashion label, though he won’t say which one. “And That I really was almost offended,” he says, still sounding it. “I mean, the shoe – there is a music with it, there exists attitude, there may be sound, it’s a movement. Clothes – it’s some other story. You can find a million things I’d rather do before designing clothes: directing, landscaping. Designing clothes?” His face indicates his opinion of this.
Louboutin came to be in 1963 and raised in Paris. His father was really a carpenter and his awesome mother was “not at all” an increased heel fan. His four sisters liked “cork wedges”, he remembers, with no fondness. “Virtually the opposite of the I do now.”
Yet his taste was established in the childhood. When Louboutin was 13, he along with his friends would sneak from school to see Le Palace, a Paris nightclub, but while his mates checked out the girls on stage, he just investigated their shoes. “A few of the shoes I make today will still be inspired with the Palace – the disco look, the metal, the glitter.”
He never went along to fashion or design school and instead got his training working for, amongst others, Charles Jourdan, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. However, he had an unfortunate tendency to have fired: “It’s because I was a terrible assistant. An assistant should certainly assist – I always aspired to do my own thing.”
He is adamant which he never had any career plan or ambition to obtain their own company, that i don’t wholly buy. It is rather hard to be successful without wanting it very badly, especially in the fashion business, and Louboutin, for those his Gallic nonchalance, does take part in the game. He once chosen to miss your flight back to Paris from America so he could spend two more hours inside a shopping area autographing his shoes. “To my favourite hot housewife,” Time magazine 06dexipky he scrawled in one customer’s shoe.
Today, Louboutin footwear is known for 2 things: price and height. Some Louboutin high heels can certainly cost $700 (£465); boots will go up to $2,000 (£1,325) and more. Nor are his the only ones: all designer shoes seem to have increased in price by a minimum of 50% in the last decade, which Louboutin blames about the euro – “Everything got more costly, even bread” – rather than designers simply jacking in the prices when they realised everyone was prepared to pay them.
As well as being from the vanguard of higher prices, louboutin shoes melbourne can also be the main thing on higher heels, bringing stilettos back into fashion, together with all the contradictions that are included with them. Jennifer Lopez once told Harper’s Bazaar magazine that Louboutin’s shoes “kill you. But they’re the se-xiest shoes around.” How can immobility be se-xy?
At this time Louboutin starts referring to “the construction of the shoe” and “the direction of your weight” and all of the standard noises people make when attemping to claim that the high-heeled shoe could be comfortable. But the truth is, regardless of what the development, the girl is hoicked high on her toes. The argument about regardless of whether high heel shoes empower women is fruitless and, after all this time around, a little tired. But even Louboutin seems stumped from the contradiction. When I inquire if comfort is a vital factor in designing his shoes, he ums and ahs a tad: “It is crucial as a woman doesn’t look good if she’s not comfortable. Having Said That I wouldn’t take it being a compliment if someone considered among my shoes and said, ‘Oh, that looks similar to a comfortable shoe’,” he says with distinct scorn. When asked if there is this being a too-high heel, he replies, “There exists a heel which is way too high just to walk in, certainly. But who cares? You don’t have to walk in high heel shoes.”