Christian Louboutin is a well known French shoe designer. Christian Louboutin was born in Paris in 1963. His obsession with shoes began in 1976 when he was 13 years old, when he visited a Parisian museum and saw a huge red high-heeled shoe worn by another visitor. He never wanted to work in fashion, he dabbled for a while in landscape gardening and was interested in the stage instead but he discovered there was no money to be made. But he adored shoes and says “nobody wears shoes like a dancer on stage.” So he decided to devote himself to fashionable footwear. Louboutin felt personally bothered by this sign and, as a consequence, he would draw shoes with compressed buckles and with soles. He admits to having spent a lot of time as a Teenager drawing these types of shoes in his school notebooks. These shoes would become the base of Louboutin’s sales as a designer. Later on, Louboutin began attending parties and dance halls in Paris, offering his shoes to women at these events and venues. Most of the ladies rejected his shoes, claiming to have no money. He first trained with Charles JOURDAN and freelanced for Chanel and Yves St. Laurent with his shoe designs. He also met the great shoe designer Roger VIVIER and helped him organize an exhibition of Vivier’s work. Christian Louboutin paints the soles of all his shoes bright red, regardless of their colour. The actual heel of the shoes leaves a red rosette imprint behind. He calls them his “follow me” shoes. Such other sellers as American company Neiman Marcus began to sell Louboutin’s designs. Louboutin shoes also have a trademark red leather sole, making them instantly recognizable. Louboutin designed this provocative prototype of the ‘Egg’ pump in 1988 to focus attention on what he feels is the most sensual, yet ignored, part of a woman’s foot – the inside curve of the arch. In 1991, he opened his own shop in the Passage Vero-Dodat in Paris, which soon caught the attention of Parisian socialites visiting the neighbouring antique dealers. His velvet pump drapes the ankle with net and tassels inspired by a belly dancer’s veil, in the 1990’s. In 1996, Louboutin designed a range of shoes with transparent Lucite heels, in which flower petals or other objects were seen to be floating. These were very popular and sold in large numbers. For one customer the French film star Arielle Dombasle, he enclosed love letters from her philosopher husband within the plastic heels, as well as a lock of his hair and a quill. She says: “his shoes are unique, each one is like a jewel.” Louboutin loves to let his imagination run wild. He has many plans for the future, including his own perfume, and will almost certainly make his dreams come true. Christian Louboutin currently has 3 boutiques in the United States. Two can be found in New York. One location is Downtown on Horatio Street and the other is on Madison Avenue. The third location is in Beverly Hills, California. Christian Louboutin is also currently in the process of leasing out 5,900 square feet of retail space on Newbury Street in Boston. There has also been a boutique in London, England for many years too. Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Caroline of Monaco, Catherine Deneuve and Cher. New York-based designer Diane von Furstenberg is also a fan.
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