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 among the most popular shoe designers in the world and officially one of the most prestigious, based on independent ratings company Luxury Institute, which has named Christian Louboutin as being the most desirable shoe brand worldwide in the past 3 years. He is also the man who is credited, or blamed, for bringing the stiletto directly 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 as much as his tiny and stiletto-filled office wearing trainers himself. (Although where mine say Converse, his say, inside a discreet logo around the side, Christian Louboutin, which, presumably, would be useful should he forget his name.)
“I consider the face first. So when I look at the face, I make an effort to view the personality and, from that, guess what type of shoes this girl might have.”
Perhaps he was just tired. He had flown for the reason that morning from Dubai where he is going to open his 20th boutique – with another 13 planned this year – and did not sleep in the plane “in any way”. And once he warms up so we turn the conversation from strict business chat, he is fantastic fun, making dry remarks then smiling quietly afterwards. At one point I ask if, having shod basically every celebrity worldwide, from Madonna to France’s first lady Carla Bruni, there exists anyone left he’d like as being a customer. His eyes skirt throughout the office, settling eventually on some particularly high black stilettos, studded all-around with silver spikes. He turns back and replies, po-faced, “The Queen of England.”
For a long period, perfume sales powered the fashion world. This became jeans. Now, more than ever, it’s shoes and bags, and is particularly no coincidence that Louboutin arrived in the 90s if this switch began. He, Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo’s Tamara Mellon are the Holy Trinity in the luxury footwear market, having helped turn shoes from something you add in your feet in order to avoid splinters into fetish objects for girls. Louboutin has become at the top of that triangle.
Where Manolo Blahnik footwear is either plain or quirky, and Jimmy Choos get the distinct sheen of Eurotrash in their mind, Christian Louboutin shoes say one particular word: se-x. Everything about the subject – using their disco styles, to the aggressive thrust of the shoe’s curvature, on the almost por-nographic red sole, flashing observers from behind as being the lady walks away – shouts se-x.
Seemingly every celebrity beneath the paparazzi sun, from Lady Gaga to Victoria Beckham, has proclaimed their love of the person. But Louboutin himself proves to get remarkably little interest in 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 discovered how the first Mrs Johnny Hallyday had been a fan – “Hallyday is a big singer in France, you realize.”
Louboutin also recently received the highest honour a shoe designer can receive nowadays: his shoes should be featured from the new S-ex As Well As The City film. This is not merely an important plug, but a potentially controversial one, as Manolo Blahnik shoes were this sort of mainstay of the TV series that this term “Manolos” entered the lexicon. But is louboutin shoes australia excited?
He even refused to be on the Oprah Show when she did a complete episode about how precisely much she loves his shoes, which is as near since you can arrive at being knighted in the usa. “They filmed the very first part of the show in Paris and got me to stand outside from the cold – so obviously I bought sick,” he says, still outraged through the cheek than it. “So then 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 often plant details on his shoes), trapeze (he has a swing in his studio) and, occasionally, dancing. He recently produced a film of himself tap dancing for Simon Fuller’s fashion website, Fashionair, that is a vision of unselfconscious joy (and, yes, he made the shoes).
He has been specifically redesigning his Paris apartment for five-years. “It’s not really that I’m a perfectionist,” he says, before launching in to a seven-minute anecdote regarding how he’s made the builders redo the windows 3 times to have the angles right.
Above all, he works: supervising the factories, having meetings around the world and after that, twice yearly, he will isolate himself in a of his four country houses (Egypt, Syria, France, Portugal) while he designs the brand new collections.
Once we meet it’s the very first day of Paris fashion week, a prospect that will not suffuse his face with joy. “I never was interested in being a member of the style world – I really wished to design shoes. I didn’t have any idea Vogue existed when I was growing up. Vogue, precisely what is that?” he protests.
Not too long ago, Louboutin was offered the work of designer at a major fashion label, though he won’t say which one. “And So I really was almost offended,” he says, still sounding it. “After all, the shoe – you will discover a music with it, there is certainly attitude, there is certainly sound, it’s a movement. Clothes – it’s a different story. You can find a million things I’d rather do before designing clothes: directing, landscaping. Designing clothes?” His face indicates his opinion of that particular.
Louboutin was born in 1963 and raised in Paris. His father was actually a carpenter and his awesome mother was “definitely not” an increased heel fan. His four sisters liked “cork wedges”, he remembers, without fondness. “Virtually the exact opposite of what I really do now.”
Yet his taste was established within his childhood. When Louboutin was 13, he and his friends would sneak from school to see Le Palace, a Paris nightclub, but while his mates investigated the girls on stage, he just checked out 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 employed by, and the like, Charles Jourdan, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. However, he had an unfortunate tendency to have fired: “It’s because I used to be an awful assistant. An assistant is supposed to assist – I always wanted to do my own, personal thing.”
He or she is adamant that he never had any career plan or ambition to have his own company, that i don’t wholly buy. It is rather hard to be successful without wanting it very badly, particularly in the fashion business, and Louboutin, for many his Gallic nonchalance, does have fun playing the game. He once chose to miss a flight back to Paris from America so he could spend two more hours within a department shop autographing his shoes. “To my favourite hot housewife,” Time magazine 06dexipky he scrawled on one customer’s shoe.
Today, Louboutin footwear is renowned for a couple of things: price and height. A pair of Louboutin high heel shoes can simply cost $700 (£465); boots will go approximately $2,000 (£1,325) and more. Nor are his the only real ones: all designer shoes seem to have increased in price by at the very least 50% during the last decade, which Louboutin blames in the euro – “Everything got more expensive, even bread” – as opposed to designers simply jacking within the prices when they realised individuals were prepared to pay them.
In addition to being inside the vanguard of higher prices, louboutin shoes melbourne is likewise at the forefront of higher heels, bringing stilettos back to fashion, together with 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 could immobility be se-xy?
At this point Louboutin starts discussing “the building of the shoe” and “the direction in the weight” and all sorts of the normal noises people make when attemping to claim that the high-heeled shoe could be comfortable. But the reality is, regardless of what the building, the woman is hoicked up on her toes. The argument about whether high heel shoes empower women is fruitless and, after all this time around, a bit tired. But even Louboutin seems stumped from the contradiction. As I find out if comfort is an important element in designing his shoes, he ums and ahs a tad: “It is crucial just because a woman doesn’t look nice if she’s not comfortable. Nevertheless I wouldn’t take it as a compliment if someone investigated one among my shoes and said, ‘Oh, seems such as a comfortable shoe’,” he says with distinct scorn. When asked if you find such a thing as being a too-high heel, he replies, “There is a heel that may be excessive simply to walk in, certainly. But who cares? You don’t need to walk in high heel shoes.”