Christian Louboutin - Fashion Designer - Biography.com christian louboutin red shoes

Christian Louboutin

Christian Louboutin Biography.com

Fashion Designer(1963–)
Fashion designer Christian Louboutin has developed an international following for his distinctive red-soled footwear.

Synopsis

Born in France in 1963, Christian Louboutin first started dreaming up fantastical footwear in his early teens. He was expelled from school at age 16 and started working for famed shoe designer Charles Jourdan two years later. In the early 1990s, Louboutin launched his own line of women's shoes. He added his legendary red soles in 1993. In 2003, Louboutin expanded into women's handbags. He then started up his men's shoes line in 2011.

Early Life

Born in Paris, France, in 1963, famed shoe designer Christian Louboutin had little interest in school growing up. He was the youngest child born to a cabinetmaker and a stay-at-home mother. His father wasn't around much so Louboutin spent a lot of his early years in the company of his mother and three sisters.

Louboutin happened on his life's passion by accident. All it took was a trip to a museum. He saw a sign indicating that high heel shoes were not permitted there. "I was totally fascinated by that sign. I'd never seen shoes like that," he explained to W. Before long Louboutin was filling notebooks with his own shoe sketches. He was further inspired by a book of Roger Vivier's designs given to him by a friend. Vivier designed shoes for Christian Dior in the 1950s.

Career Beginnings

Expelled from school at age 16, Louboutin soon went to work at the famed Parisian cabaret Folies Bergère. He did all sorts of jobs for the dancers, including fulfilling his personal dream of creating shoes for them. Louboutin then learned the ins and outs of the shoe business when he landed a job with Charles Jourdan in the early 1980s.

After working as a freelance designer for a time, Louboutin set up his own shop in Paris in the early 1990s. He found the inspiration for his trademark red outer soles in 1993. "My assistant was sitting there, painting her nails red. I took one look and decided to color my soles red as a statement for the season," Louboutin told Footwear News. "I thought, 'Oh my god! Red soles are so flirtatious,' and my customers asked me not to stop." His artistic yet sexy shoes soon attracted the likes of Princess Caroline of Monaco, one of his early customers. Madonna wore his dangerously high heels in some of her videos, helping to introduce the world to Louboutin.

Later Successes

Over the years, Louboutin has continued to turn out season after season of imaginative footwear. "For inspiration, I often imagine a courtesan living out her life in a circus," he explained to Marie Claire magazine. He has turned his surrealistically beautiful shoes into an international success story. According to The New Yorker, he sells more than 500,000 pairs of his fabulous footwear each year. The cost of getting a pair of Louboutins can range from nearly $400 up to $6,000. Louboutin has stores around the world in addition to his Paris headquarters.

In addition to women's shoes, Louboutin has worked to expand his reach in fashion. He branched out into handbags in 2003, and he now offers a line of men's shoes as well. In 2013, Louboutin will debut his new beauty line.

With all his success, Louboutin has worked hard to defend his designs from copiers and counterfeiters. He even took the fashion company Yves Saint Laurent to court over its use of red outer soles on some of its shoes. Louboutin also set up his own website to address the counterfeit shoe problem.

Outside of his fashion empire, Louboutin has taken on some creative challenges. He worked with director David Lynch on a photo exhibit in 2007. In 2012, Louboutin helped design many elements of Feu, or "Fire," a show at the legendary Parisian club Crazy Horse.

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The Best Christian Louboutin Shoes on the Oscars Red Carpet

The best place to step out wearing red bottoms is the red carpet — and the 89th Academy Awards today was no exception.

Justin Timberlake, accompanied by his wife, Jessica Biel, was among some of the entertainers who arrived at the Oscars wearing Christian Louboutin’s red-soled shoes.

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jessica biel justin timberlake oscars 2017 red carpet christian louboutin shoes Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake, wearing Christian Louboutin’s “Greggo” shoes, at the 2017 Oscars red carpet. REX Shutterstock.

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oscars 2017 red carpet christian louboutin shoes oscars 2017 red carpet christian louboutin shoes Detail of Justin Timberlake’s Christian Louboutin “Greggo” shoes at the 2017 Oscars red carpet. REX Shutterstock.

The actor-singer, who opened the ceremony with his Oscar-nominated “Trolls” hit “Can’t Stop the Feeling!,” had on Louboutin’s black patent leather lace-up “Greggo” shoes, which retail for $945.

Felicity Jones teamed a champagne-colored dress with Louboutin’s gold strappy leather “Bat Bat” sandals that featured dragonfly embellishment. The shoes retail for $1,595.

Felicity Jones Oscars 2017 Red Carpet Felicity Jones hits the Oscars red carpet wearing Christian Louboutin sandals. REX Shutterstock
felicity jones oscars 2017 red carpet christian louboutin shoes Detail of Felicity Jones’ Christian Louboutin Bat Bat sandal at the 2017 Oscars red carpet. REX Shutterstock.

Ryan Gosling rocked the same shoe style as Timberlake, his former “Mickey Mouse Club” co-star. The “La La Land” actor teamed black patent leather lace-up “Greggo” shoes with a tuxedo.

David Oyeolow had on Louboutin’s “Dada” style, which features a slip-on profile with tassel detail, retailing for $895.

David Oyelowo oscars 2017 red carpet christian louboutin shoes David Oyelowo wears Christian Louboutin’s “Dada” shoes at the 2017 Oscars red carpet. REX Shutterstock.
David Oyelowo oscars 2017 red carpet christian louboutin shoes Detail of David Oyelowo’s Christian Louboutin “Dada” shoes at the 2017 Oscars red carpet. REX Shutterstock.

Click through the gallery to see more celebrities who wore Louboutins. 

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