TALES FROM BEYOND THE RED SOLE
27th April 2015
The life of a great designer is always so wonderfully intriguing – what moves them to create? where do they get their ideas from? what inspires them? The questions are endless, and so when I got the opportunity to have a sneak peak into the life of Christian Louboutin – founder of the iconic red sole – as part of the Vogue Festival this weekend, I jumped at the chance.
Taking part in conversation with Alexandra Shulman, Editor in Chief of The British Vogue, Louboutin is surprisingly shy for a man with such a high calibre of talent and incredibly charming. As he relaxed in front of the audience, he told tales of exotic travels – designing his summer collections under the warm sun of his homeland Egypt and his winter collections in Northern France. His love for travel has taken him all over the world – as a boy he loved coming to London, where punk-rock was beginning to take hold and later this year he intends to see Barcelona. Indeed, the theme of destination itself is highly prominent with the designer. Louboutin believes that his business succeeded because he made himself the destination. “You need to think of yourself as the destination,” he says “People don’t notice what is before or after you – they come to see you. Plenty of other people have opened up a new shop beside me because they think it’s a perfect street for shoes, only to close two years later. Because the people that come, come to see me.”
Although this paints a picture of a flamboyant character – one who draws in audiences and transfixes them, Louboutin is in-fact an incredibly private soul. He revealed that he very often isolates himself to work – cutting out phones and people. He tells us that “Concentration is vital to his work.”
Regaling stories of his child-hood, Louboutin reveals that he was not always considered a fashion icon – his mother in particular often scolded him for his choices. “My mother thought I dressed very badly to be out on my own,” he explained to a laughing crowd. “I wore shorts and pointy shoes and socks. She told me, ‘Either change the shorts or lose the shoes. They do not go’.” During the interview, Louboutin wore his own iconic red sole shoes – an advertisement of the brand and of his faith in his own products.
The interview ended leaving me wanting more, more insight into the life of a true fashion legend and believing that there were few better ways to spend a Saturday afternoon.