God forgive me, I interviewed Christian Louboutin while wearing a pair of trainers. Not fancy sci-fi ones either, but properly old and grimy ones. Louboutin is probably the most well-known shoe designers on earth and officially one of the most prestigious, as outlined by independent ratings company Luxury Institute, which has named Christian Louboutin as being the most desirable shoe brand on the planet for the past three years. He is even the man who is credited, or blamed, for bringing the stiletto back to fashion. So wearing trainers to fulfill him is a little like suggesting to Jamie Oliver we meet at McDonald’s for lunch.
Then again – whaddyaknow – christian louboutins sydney turns as much as his tiny and stiletto-filled office wearing trainers himself. (Although where mine say Converse, his say, within a discreet logo about the side, Christian Louboutin, which, presumably, would come in handy should he forget his name.)
“I consider the face first. So when I check out the face, I try and begin to see the personality and, from that, guess what kind of shoes this girl could have.”
Perhaps he was only tired. He had flown in this morning from Dubai where he is about to open his 20th boutique – with another 13 planned this season – and failed to sleep around the plane “at all”. And once he warms up so we turn the conversation far from strict business chat, he is great fun, making dry remarks after which smiling quietly afterwards. At some time I inquire if, having shod basically every celebrity on the planet, from Madonna to France’s first lady Carla Bruni, there is certainly anyone left he’d like as being a customer. His eyes skirt throughout the office, settling at last on a pair of particularly high black stilettos, studded throughout with silver spikes. He turns back and replies, po-faced, “The Queen of England.”
For a long period, perfume sales powered the style world. Then it became jeans. Now, more than ever, it’s shoes and bags, in fact it is no coincidence that Louboutin arrived inside 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 add on the feet to protect yourself from splinters into fetish objects for females. Louboutin is now towards the top of that triangle.
Where Manolo Blahnik footwear is either plain or quirky, and Jimmy Choos possess 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 from the shoe’s curvature, towards the almost por-nographic red sole, flashing observers from behind as being the lady walks away – shouts se-x.
Seemingly every celebrity under the paparazzi sun, from Lady Gaga to Victoria Beckham, has proclaimed their love of 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 actually a little excited when he found out how the first Mrs Johnny Hallyday was actually a fan – “Hallyday is a major singer in France, you already know.”
Louboutin also recently received the highest honour a shoe designer can receive currently: his shoes are to be featured from the new S-ex And Also The City film. This is not merely a significant plug, but a potentially controversial one, as Manolo Blahnik shoes were this sort of mainstay in the TV series that the term “Manolos” entered the lexicon. But is louboutin shoes sydney excited?
He even refused to go on the Oprah Show when she did a huge episode about how precisely much she loves his shoes, which is as near as you can be able to being knighted in the usa. “They filmed the first section of the show in Paris and got me to stand outside in the cold – so of course I got sick,” he says, still outraged through the cheek from 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 (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, and that is a vision of unselfconscious joy (and, yes, he made the sneakers).
He has been specifically redesigning his Paris apartment for 5yrs. “It’s not too 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.
Above all, he works: supervising the factories, having meetings around the globe and after that, twice yearly, he will isolate himself in one of his four country houses (Egypt, Syria, France, Portugal) as he designs the new collections.
If we meet it’s the very first day of Paris fashion week, a prospect that is not going to suffuse his face with joy. “I never was thinking about being a member of the fashion world – I really wanted to design shoes. I didn’t have any idea Vogue existed as i was growing up. Vogue, precisely what is that?” he protests.
Some time ago, Louboutin was offered the work of designer with a major fashion label, though he won’t say what type. “And That I really was almost offended,” he says, still sounding it. “I am talking about, the shoe – there exists a music to it, there is attitude, there is certainly sound, it’s a movement. Clothes – it’s an alternative story. You will find a million things I’d rather do before designing clothes: directing, landscaping. Designing clothes?” His face indicates his opinion of that.
Louboutin was created in 1963 and raised in Paris. His father was a carpenter along with his mother was “certainly not” a very high heel fan. His four sisters liked “cork wedges”, he remembers, without fondness. “Basically the opposite of the things I truly 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 see Le Palace, a Paris nightclub, but while his mates looked at the girls 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 along to fashion or design school and instead got his training employed by, and others, Charles Jourdan, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. However, he had an unfortunate tendency to get fired: “It’s because I was a dreadful assistant. An assistant is supposed to assist – I always aspired to do my very own thing.”
He or she is adamant that he or she never had any career plan or ambition to obtain his company, which I don’t wholly buy. It is very hard to achieve success without wanting it very badly, particularly in the fashion business, and Louboutin, for those his Gallic nonchalance, does take part in the game. He once chose to miss a flight back to Paris from America so he could spend two more hours inside a department store autographing his shoes. “To my favourite hot housewife,” Time magazine 06dexipky he scrawled on one customer’s shoe.
Today, Louboutin footwear is recognized for a couple of things: price and height. A set of Louboutin high heel shoes can simply cost $700 (£465); boots could go up to $2,000 (£1,325) and more. Nor are his really the only ones: all designer shoes seem to have increased in price by no less than 50% over the last decade, which Louboutin blames on the euro – “Everything got more expensive, even bread” – rather than designers simply jacking within the prices after they realised individuals were prepared to pay them.
As well as being inside the vanguard of higher prices, louboutin shoes melbourne can also be the main thing on higher heels, bringing stilettos back into fashion, together because of 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 point Louboutin starts referring to “the construction of the shoe” and “the direction of your weight” and all sorts of the standard noises people make when trying to claim that a high-heeled shoe can be comfortable. But the truth is, regardless of what the construction, the girl is hoicked up on her toes. The argument about whether or not high heel shoes empower women is fruitless and, in the end now, just a little tired. But even Louboutin seems stumped from the contradiction. When I find out if comfort is a vital consider designing his shoes, he ums and ahs a tad: “It is important since a woman doesn’t look really good if she’s not comfortable. But I wouldn’t carry it as a compliment if a person investigated among my shoes and said, ‘Oh, that looks such as a comfortable shoe’,” he says with distinct scorn. When asked if you find such a thing like a too-high heel, he replies, “There is a heel which is too high simply to walk in, certainly. But who cares? You don’t need to walk in high heel shoes.”