If you don’t have them, you want them. And, if you have them, you want more.

That’s the spell of the red sole and the sorcerer behind this red magic is no other than the Christian Louboutin. Born in Paris, Louboutin is Parisian chic and nonchalance, wrapped in one charismatic package. His ability to be animated, yet not exaggerated or unnatural makes him one of the most real individuals in fashion today. Louboutin is a self-proclaimed follower of life, with his ambition and dreams taking a backseat to luck, yet his designs are due to anything but.

They are meticulously designed with the sophisticated woman in mind, and are leading the fashion world one foot in front of the other. The legend of Louboutin begins at the young age of 11 when he was an average kid of curiosity exploring the interiors of the African and Oceanic Art Museum. But unlike most children, who would have been engrossed with the exhibits, young Louboutin was stuck to a primitive poster on the wall.

“It was a 1950’s sketch of a heel that had been slashed out with a red line,” explains Louboutin. “It was there because in the ’50s the very high skinny heel — the stiletto — was made with a piece of metal at the end of it. Therefore, it was forbidden to wear the heel inside the museums in France as it would ruin the floors which were made from parquet or mosaic.” “It was this primary sketch that got me contemplating to myself why these people had been designing this drawing of a heel only to simply cross it out with a big slash,” reveals Louboutin.

It was in this perplexed and surprised state that Louboutin had an artistic epiphany: “That’s when it hit me: Everything is drawn before it exists.” This revelation planted the seed that would later grow — almost magically — into the signature red-soled brand that Christian Louboutin is today. “It was that drawing that made me realize that everything you see around you is first drawn before it can exist. Everything here has been man-made, and very little is left on the planet that isn’t. Even gardens have been drawn by landscapers. This store and everything inside it was first drawn and sketched before it existed. Today, most of the world is a man-made creation that was drawn first.” Young Louboutin instantly began sketching shoes.

“I started drawing shoes not thinking it was a real job. I just did it as a hobby.” At the age of 12, he repeatedly sketched the same profile of a high heel but changed the embellishments. It wasn’t until much later that he realized he could do what he loved as a career. “I realized it was a real job when somebody gave me a book highlighting the beautiful works of designer Roger Vivier when I was 16 years old. That’s when I thought: ‘Ah, great! It’s actually a job. A person can  absolutely design shoes. And I’ve already started!’” That’s when more magic happened.

Having decided that shoes were what he wanted to do, the confident 16-year-old Louboutin went back to his original place of inspiration — the famous French music hall, Folies Bergères — that he had often escaped to as a young boy. “When I was 12, I loved going there to the showgirls dance. I was attracted to showgirls, I loved how they sparkled and were dressed up as birds,” he explains. But it wasn’t just the dancers he loved; he loved the shows and the stage as well. “My sisters were older and I remember them loving Tina Turner and Janis Joplin. I grew up thinking women belonged on stage, and I wanted to keep them there.”


Article by Marriam M Mossalli