Christian Louboutin: Tales from beyond the red sole talk at the Vogue Festival 15

Christian Louboutin talks to  Alexandra Schulman, Vogue editor. Image from Vogue Uk, Darren-Gerrish

Christian Louboutin talks to Alexandra Shulman. Image from Vogue UK by Darren-Gerrish

Ooooh, Christian Louboutin. Not only he is the master behind my favourite shoes, but he is also a charming human being.

No wonder women fall in love with his shoes; after seeing him talk, I can certainly say he does manage to transmit his captivating personality to footwear. If I was a fan before, this talk took it to another level.

My first love

My love for his designs come from a long time ago. This led to the creation of the shoe fund to get my hands on them. My first pair, Rolando, is so special to me I rarely wear it. I really take the Decollete and Pigalle out more often, as they feel they are more replaceable than that very important first pair.

 Image from Vogue Uk, Darren-Gerrish

Image from Vogue UK by Darren-Gerrish

Monsieur Louboutin says he was always very grown up for his age – he left home when he was only 12.5 years of age to explore his passions in life. He didn’t like school very much.

The first encounter with heels was a sign at a museum. They were not shoes as he knew it, and that drawing did come to life later when he saw a woman wearing stilettos and understood that sign. Captivated by the shoes, the then boy followed her.

The drawing for the Pensée, brought back to celebrate the brand's 20th anniversary

The drawing for the Pensée, brought back to celebrate the brand’s 20th anniversary

So where does the coveted red sole comes from? Well… in 1993, Christian was comparing the Pensée (inspired by Andy Warhol’s “Flowers”), part of the brand’s third season, with his sketches and he noticed the shoes, when looked at from the back, looked dark – when it was in fact designed to be very colourful. Something was missing.

His assistant was in the studio, painting her nails and he grabbed the bottle, despite her protests (as she had only two nails done), and painted the dark sole in the striking shade of red.

To the day, Christian likes to compare the final product with his drawings, and takes pleasure in seeing them “animated”.

On the collections… he needs total concentration to create. He isolates himself for two weeks to design the majority of a collection. For the summer, he flees to Egypt, which he describes as his homeland, and being surrounded by the heat helps the creative process. Conversely, to create the winter collection, he heads to the north of France (with “Scotland-like” cold). It’s an immersive experience.

The process involves, drawing, sleeping on it, re-drawing and when they are ready to go to production, Christian sleeps in an apartment built on top of his factory in Italy. He makes corrections, keeps a close eye –  and just plays with it.

christian louboutin at the Vogue Festival

Still on the craft process, he adds “a shoe is almost like a face”. A good structure is what really makes it beautiful and compares the heels, balance and front to the bone structure of the shoe. The rest is makeup.

Choosing a favourite shoe is hard, as he loves different ones for different reasons (interesting creation process, a person who inspired it) and each shoe takes you to a different space.

Having to choose, he mentioned the Pigalle as a highlight.

Christian was fascinated with showgirls – he saw them as exotic birds, and then came the wish to design shoes for them. He was in fact an apprentice at Folies Bergère.

christian louboutin at the Vogue FestivalAbout working with Roger Vivier, to whom he was a type of admin assistant, he said he just wanted to see him at work, and that was enough; when you admire someone’s work, you don’t necessarily want to add your touch to it.

His business happened, as he puts it, as a “happy accident”. After moving from shoes to being a landscaper (which he gave up for being too impatient), two friends supported him in following his passion and he opened his own shoe shop.

Priceless advice came in the shape of not having a recipe for success; feel free to follow your own path, with your own rules and sometimes no preconceived ideas. And of course, love what you do.

christian louboutin shoes -somanylovelythings


I think my “aaaw” moment came when he mentioned he feels responsible for all the people working for him, saying it is quite scary to think about what would happen to them if something happened to him. Love.

A truly inspiring talk to remind us that exceptional talent, raw passion, hard work and risk-taking are really the path to success.

My only regret? Not trying to get my shoes autographed at the Q&A session. Maybe next time…



3 thoughts on “Christian Louboutin: Tales from beyond the red sole talk at the Vogue Festival 15

  1. hmm? very, very, good / nice post !!!! & interesting & Danni by the way- of me seeing u / pictures you do look really pretty & well matched in your outfits wearing these heels I have just placed a order on a pair of my favorite looking heels,,, there no were near these fine-shoes,,,, some-day perhaps ?? for me…as u might hav guessed ? lol I am still new to all this,,, so my heels will be the clear 3 inch color mule heels,,, I cant wait to finely get them & try them on & wear-them !!!!!! things have still been on HOLD for me/Kelly its my Mom she has been Ill,, so…like I remind her over & over,,, Mom…..your on the road to…recovery !!!! as long as u move forward…it will / can get better,,, stay well,,, young *Pretty lady….who I *LOVE your look & style*** thanx for sharing your passion Kelly 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was a great talk – I am a massive fan, so was sure I was going to like it! And thank you so much for the compliments!
      I do hope your mum is getting better and better everyday!
      And how was your party? You should definitley post about the new shoes!
      Dani x


      • Hi again Dani,,, sad to say: I had to miss the party,,,, because of how Mom has been so…I am still on my own,,, as far as,,, the learning curve of all things Girly I want sooo bad to meet up with other cross dressers ( in person ) like myself but,,,,? its really hard to now my shoes that I told u about, ,,a long with a few other new under garments I ordered they still haven’t come yet &…..I just made my first purchase today of makeup so after this Friday I will shave all my hair on my face & start to practice with my makeup I bought its a family party a BIRTHDAY party for a 1- year old,, so EVERY 1 there knows of my look,, I have a beard/mustache/goatee &,,,well,, it would be best to shave (after) the party lol yes that’s a good idea,,, once my shoes are delivered I can some-how-? think of away to put it on my blog/post Dani,, I haven’t posted anything in a real long time its just been busy with my mom,,,, thank U Dani for your kind words stay well 🙂 Kelly


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