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 probably the most famous shoe designers worldwide and officially by far the most prestigious, in accordance with independent ratings company Luxury Institute, which includes named Christian Louboutin as the most desirable shoe brand on the planet within the last three years. He or she is even the man who is credited, or blamed, for bringing the stiletto directly into fashion. So wearing trainers to fulfill him is a touch like suggesting to Jamie Oliver we meet at McDonald’s for lunch.
However – whaddyaknow – christian louboutins melbourne turns up to his tiny and stiletto-filled office wearing trainers himself. (Although where mine say Converse, his say, inside a discreet logo on the side, Christian Louboutin, which, presumably, would come in handy should he forget his name.)
“I look at the face first. And once I consider the face, I try to begin to see the personality and, from that, guess which kind of shoes this girl will have.”
Perhaps he was just tired. He had flown in that morning from Dubai where he is going to open his 20th boutique – with another 13 planned this season – and failed to sleep about the plane “at all”. And as soon as he warms up therefore we turn the conversation far from strict business chat, he is really good fun, making dry remarks and then smiling quietly afterwards. At some time I ask if, having shod just about every celebrity on the planet, from Madonna to France’s first lady Carla Bruni, there may be anyone left he’d like being a customer. His eyes skirt across the office, settling at last on a couple of particularly high black stilettos, studded all over with silver spikes. He turns back and replies, po-faced, “The Queen of England.”
For a long time, perfume sales powered the style world. This became jeans. Now, more than ever before, it’s shoes and bags, and is particularly no coincidence that Louboutin arrived within the 90s when this switch began. He, Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo’s Tamara Mellon will be the Holy Trinity in the luxury footwear market, having helped turn shoes from something you place on your own feet to protect yourself from splinters into fetish objects for ladies. Louboutin is now at the top of that triangle.
Where Manolo Blahnik footwear is either plain or quirky, and Jimmy Choos have the distinct sheen of Eurotrash in their mind, Christian Louboutin shoes say one simple word: se-x. Everything about them – off their disco styles, to the aggressive thrust of the shoe’s curvature, towards the almost por-nographic red sole, flashing observers from behind since the lady walks away – shouts se-x.
Seemingly every celebrity within the paparazzi sun, from Lady Gaga to Victoria Beckham, has proclaimed their passion for the man. But Louboutin himself proves to obtain remarkably little desire for 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 when he discovered that this first Mrs Johnny Hallyday was actually a fan – “Hallyday is a big singer in France, you know.”
Louboutin also recently received the very best honour a shoe designer can receive currently: his shoes have to be featured within the new S-ex As Well As The City film. This is not just a serious plug, but a potentially controversial one, as Manolo Blahnik shoes were this type of mainstay in the TV series that this term “Manolos” entered the lexicon. But is louboutins melbourne excited?
He even refused to be on the Oprah Winfrey Show when she did a huge episode regarding how much she loves his shoes, which happens to be as near that you can reach being knighted in the usa. “They filmed the initial part of the show in Paris and taught me to stand outside inside the cold – so needless to say I purchased 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 (you will find often plant details on his shoes), trapeze (they have a swing within 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 the sneakers).
He has additionally been redesigning his Paris apartment for 5yrs. “It’s not too I’m a perfectionist,” he says, before launching in a seven-minute anecdote regarding how he’s made the builders redo the windows three times to obtain the angles right.
First and foremost, he works: supervising the factories, having meetings around the world and then, every six months, he will isolate himself in one of his four country houses (Egypt, Syria, France, Portugal) when he designs the new collections.
Once we meet it’s the first day of Paris fashion week, a prospect that will not suffuse his face with joy. “I never was thinking about being part of the fashion world – I simply planned to design shoes. I didn’t even know Vogue existed when I was growing up. Vogue, what exactly is that?” he protests.
Some time ago, Louboutin was offered the work of designer in a major fashion label, though he won’t say which one. “And I Also really was almost offended,” he says, still sounding it. “After all, the shoe – you will discover a music on it, there may be attitude, there exists 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 the.
Louboutin was created in 1963 and raised in Paris. His father had been a carpenter and his mother was “not at all” a high heel fan. His four sisters liked “cork wedges”, he remembers, with no fondness. “Just about the exact opposite of the things I actually do now.”
Yet his taste was established in the childhood. When Louboutin was 13, he along with his friends would sneak away from school to attend Le Palace, a Paris nightclub, but while his mates considered the women on stage, he just considered their shoes. “Several of the shoes I make today continue to be inspired from the Palace – the disco look, the metal, the glitter.”
He never visited fashion or design school and instead got his training doing work for, and the like, Charles Jourdan, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. However, he had an unfortunate tendency to obtain fired: “It’s because I had been a dreadful assistant. An assistant is supposed to assist – I always aspired to do my thing.”
He or she is adamant that he never had any career plan or ambition to own his own company, which I don’t wholly buy. It is extremely hard to achieve success 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 chosen to miss your flight to Paris from America so he could spend two more hours within a mall autographing his shoes. “To my favourite hot housewife,” Time magazine 06dexipky he scrawled on one customer’s shoe.
Today, Louboutin shoes are recognized for 2 things: price and height. A pair of Louboutin high heel shoes can easily cost $700 (£465); boots will go up to $2,000 (£1,325) and more. Nor are his the only ones: all designer shoes appear to have increased in price by at the very least 50% within the last decade, which Louboutin blames around the euro – “Everything got higher priced, even bread” – as opposed to designers simply jacking the prices whenever they realised people were happy to pay them.
As well as being within the vanguard of higher prices, australia louboutin shoes is also the main thing on higher heels, bringing stilettos back to fashion, together with all the contradictions which come 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 stage Louboutin starts talking about “the construction of the shoe” and “the direction of your weight” and all of the usual noises people make when trying to claim that the high-heeled shoe might be comfortable. But the fact is, regardless of what the development, the female is hoicked up on her toes. The argument about whether or not high heels empower women is fruitless and, all things considered this time, a little tired. But even Louboutin seems stumped from the contradiction. Once I find out if comfort is a crucial aspect in designing his shoes, he ums and ahs a tad: “It is important since a woman doesn’t look good if she’s not comfortable. However I wouldn’t accept it as a compliment if someone investigated among my shoes and said, ‘Oh, seems like a comfortable shoe’,” he says with distinct scorn. When asked if you have such a thing being a too-high heel, he replies, “You will find a heel that may be excessive just to walk in, certainly. But who cares? You don’t ought to walk in high heel shoes.”