God forgive me, I interviewed Christian Louboutin while wearing some trainers. Not fancy sci-fi ones either, but properly old and grimy ones. Louboutin is among the most popular shoe designers on earth and officially by far the most prestigious, based on independent ratings company Luxury Institute, which includes named Christian Louboutin because the most desirable shoe brand on earth in the past 36 months. He is even the man that is credited, or blamed, for bringing the stiletto back into fashion. So wearing trainers to fulfill him might be a like suggesting to Jamie Oliver we meet at McDonald’s for lunch.
However – whaddyaknow – christian louboutin australia turns approximately 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 prove useful should he forget his name.)
“I check out the face first. And whenever I check out the face, I attempt to view the personality and, from that, guess which kind of shoes this girl will 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 coming year – and did not sleep around the plane “by any means”. And once he warms up therefore we turn the conversation far from strict business chat, he or she is excellent fun, making dry remarks 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 as a customer. His eyes skirt throughout the office, settling finally on a couple 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. That became jeans. Now, more than ever before, it’s shoes and bags, in fact it is no coincidence that Louboutin arrived within the 90s once this switch began. He, Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo’s Tamara Mellon would be the Holy Trinity from the luxury footwear market, having helped turn shoes from something you place on the feet to avoid splinters into fetish objects for girls. Louboutin is now towards the top of that triangle.
Where Manolo Blahnik footwear is either plain or quirky, and Jimmy Choos get the distinct sheen of Eurotrash for them, Christian Louboutin shoes say one particular word: se-x. Everything about the subject – from their disco styles, for the aggressive thrust in 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 passion for the person. But Louboutin himself proves to have 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 really a little excited when he determined how the first Mrs Johnny Hallyday was really a fan – “Hallyday is a major singer in France, you know.”
Louboutin also recently received the greatest honour a shoe designer can receive these days: his shoes have to be featured from the new S-ex Along With The City film. This is not merely an important plug, but a potentially controversial one, as Manolo Blahnik shoes were this sort of mainstay in the TV series that this 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 is as near as possible arrive at being knighted in the us. “They filmed the first section of the show in Paris and got me to stand outside in the cold – so of course I bought sick,” he says, still outraged from the cheek of 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 particulars on his shoes), trapeze (he has a swing within his studio) and, occasionally, dancing. He recently crafted a film of himself tap dancing for Simon Fuller’s fashion website, Fashionair, which is a vision of unselfconscious joy (and, yes, he made the shoes).
He has been redesigning his Paris apartment for 5yrs. “It’s not really that I’m a perfectionist,” he says, before launching in to a seven-minute anecdote about how exactly he’s made the builders redo the windows 3 x to have the angles right.
Primarily, he works: supervising the factories, having meetings worldwide and then, every six months, he will isolate himself in a of his four country houses (Egypt, Syria, France, Portugal) as he designs the newest 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 wanted to design shoes. I didn’t realize Vogue existed after i was growing up. Vogue, what exactly is that?” he protests.
A few years 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 – there is a music on it, there exists attitude, there is certainly sound, it’s a movement. Clothes – it’s another story. There is a million things I’d rather do before designing clothes: directing, landscaping. Designing clothes?” His face indicates his opinion of that.
Louboutin was born in 1963 and raised in Paris. His father was a carpenter with his fantastic mother was “not” a very high heel fan. His four sisters liked “cork wedges”, he remembers, without fondness. “Virtually the contrary of what I really do now.”
Yet his taste was established in his childhood. When Louboutin was 13, he along with his friends would sneak out of school to visit Le Palace, a Paris nightclub, but while his mates checked out the women on stage, he just checked out their shoes. “Several of the shoes I make today are still inspired by the Palace – the disco look, the metal, the glitter.”
He never went to 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 acquire fired: “It’s because I had been a dreadful assistant. An assistant is supposed to assist – I always aspired to do my thing.”
He is adamant that he never had any career plan or ambition to own his own company, which I don’t wholly buy. It is rather hard to have success without wanting it very badly, especially in the fashion business, and Louboutin, for those his Gallic nonchalance, does play the game. He once chose to miss a flight returning to Paris from America so he could spend two more hours inside a department shop autographing his shoes. “To my favourite hot housewife,” Time magazine 06dexipky he scrawled using one customer’s shoe.
Today, Louboutin footwear is recognized for two things: price and height. Some Louboutin high heel shoes can easily cost $700 (£465); boots could go around $2,000 (£1,325) and more. Nor are his really the only ones: all designer shoes appear to have increased in price by no less than 50% in 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 ready to pay them.
In addition to being in the vanguard of higher prices, louboutin shoes melbourne can also be at the forefront of 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 could immobility be se-xy?
At this stage Louboutin starts discussing “the construction of the shoe” and “the direction from the weight” and all of the typical noises people make when trying to assert which a high-heeled shoe can be comfortable. But the reality is, whatever the construction, the lady is hoicked high on her toes. The argument about whether or not high heel shoes empower women is fruitless and, after all this time, a bit tired. But even Louboutin seems stumped with the contradiction. Once I ask if comfort is a crucial element in designing his shoes, he ums and ahs a tad: “It is necessary as a woman doesn’t look nice if she’s not comfortable. However I wouldn’t take it as a compliment when someone looked at among my shoes and said, ‘Oh, that appears just like a comfortable shoe’,” he says with distinct scorn. When asked when there is this being a too-high heel, he replies, “There exists a heel that may be too high to walk in, certainly. But who cares? You don’t ought to walk in high heels.”