With nearly 50 boutiques in about 22 countries, the ‘sammy-red bottom’ shoes (made of red lacquer) of Christian Louboutin command awe and respect in the celebrity world. The French brand which is named after him is known for its long-stiletto heels and style which aims at empowering women and making them look ultra-sexy. Though he started off with shoes, today, he is also famous for his evening-wear designs which incorporate bows, feathers, jewelled straps and patent leather.
Bringing stilettos back into fashion in the 1990s and 2000s has in itself made Christian Louboutin a very sought-after brand. His clientele includes a list of high-profile celebrities who have patronised him – Lady Gaga, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker and recently, Kim Kardashian. Novelist, Danielle Steele is his single largest customer with purchases over 6,000 pairs and an average purchase of 20-30 pairs a visit! His boutiques have been all doing extremely well and that reflects in Mr.Louboutin doing very well!
Since 1997, Louboutin is partnered by Landscape architect Louis Benech. They have homes in the 1st Arrondissement in Paris, a palace in Alleppo, a fisherman's-styled cottage in Lisbon, a home in Luxor and a houseboat in the mighty Nile! That is some living in style! Christian Louboutin also shares a 13th-century Vendee castle with Bruno Chamberlain, his business partner. The designer has been bold and different in his hobbies too. As he claims, he loves to indulge in trapeze flying. Being in the designing industry, he regularlky makes special shoe-designs and accessory-designs for charity. Fashion for Relief is a charity that he actively supports. He has also hosted charity events. He has widely traveled and his childhood craze has translated into lavish and beautiful vacations. He is also a person forced to be at multiple events for almost every celebrity wears him!
Born to a cabinet-making father and a homemaker mother, Louboutin had a very ordinary childhood filled with difficult times. Though a French by birth, he was subjected to racial discrimination and hatred which led to squabbles and fights. He was expelled from school and ran away from home when he was just 12. He took up to sketching instead and landed up a few film roles as well, including the classic, Race d'ep. A 1976 to an art museum where women were not permitted to wear high heels inspired him into specially designing high-heeled shoes to empower women. He travelled as a nomad to Egypt and India and hones his designing skills by himself. One thing led to another and after a short stint with Charles Jourdan, he became apprentice to Roger Vivier, the father of the stiletto! Gaining from that experience, he designed women’s shoes for Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel and Maud Frizon before setting up his own company in 1991. His first customer was Princess Caroline of Monaco and there have been no dearth of ‘princesses’ and ‘queens’ who seek him after that! High-heels are back in fashion today and Louboutin has topped the Luxury Brand Status Index of the Luxury Institute for 3 consecutive years.