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My family was very French and so I decided they had probably adopted me. But instead of feeling it was terrible and that I was an outsider who had to go and find my real family, I invented my own history, full of characters from Egypt because I was very into the pharaohs. Louboutin was expelled from school three times and then decided to run away from home at the age of 12, [11] at which point his mother allowed him to move out to live at a friend's house.

However, he claims that what helped him make up his mind was an interview on TV with Sophia Loren , in which she introduced her sister, saying she had to leave school when she was only 12, but when she turned 50, she got her degree. He later remarked, "Everybody applauded! As a preteen he was one of the "bande du Palace" a group of hard partying teens and pre-teens that included Eva Ionesco who were a fixture of the well known Parisian nightclub Le Palace. Landscape architect Louis Benech has been his partner since Louboutin and his partner spend time between their homes in the 1st arrondissement of Paris , [13] a fisherman's cottage in Lisbon , Portugal , [14] a house in Melides , Portugal , a house in Comporta , Portugal , a palace in Aleppo , [15] a houseboat on the Nile christened Dahabibi-my love boat , and a house in Luxor.

The Luxor domicile is a former craftsman's workshop, made of earthen bricks, to which he has added an additional floor and a rooftop belvedere. Louboutin began sketching shoes in his early teens, ignoring his academic studies. Going through a punk phase, he was in a few films, including cult classic Race d'ep and The Homosexual Century , which attracted an English-language audience. He was also a fixture on the city's party scene alongside Mick Jagger and Andy Warhol. It was there that he saw a sign from Africa forbidding women wearing sharp stilettos from entering a building for fear of damage to the extensive wood flooring.

This image stayed in his mind, and he later used this idea in his designs. Fascinated by world cultures, he ran away in his teens to Egypt and spent a year in India. Louboutin returned to Paris in , where he assembled a portfolio of drawings of elaborate high heels. He brought it to the top couture houses. The effort resulted in employment with Charles Jourdan.

Subsequently, Louboutin met Roger Vivier , who claims to have invented the stiletto, or spiked-heel shoe. Louboutin became an apprentice in Vivier's atelier. In the late s, he turned away from fashion to become a landscape gardener and to contribute to Vogue but missed working with shoes and set up his company in With funds from two backers, he opened a Paris shoe salon in with Princess Caroline of Monaco as his first customer.

Getting Started

She complimented the store one day when a fashion journalist was present, and the journalist's subsequent publication of Princess' comments helped greatly to increase Louboutin's renown. Sarah Jessica Parker wore a pair of shoes by Louboutin for her wedding. Britney Spears wears a pair of high-heeled Louboutins in her music video " If U Seek Amy " that were not available for sale until a month after the video was released.

The designer's professed goal has been to "make a woman look sexy, beautiful, to make her legs look as long as [he] can". He is most popularly known for the red leather soles on his high heel shoes, commonly referred to as "sammy red soled shoes". His signature red soles were first created in The two dimensional sketch was so powerful on paper, but when turned into a three-dimensional object, it was somehow lacking energy.

Frustrated after having tried different things to liven up the design, I spontaneously grabbed my assistant's red nail polish and painted the sole. I instantly knew that this would be a success! His single biggest client is American novelist Danielle Steel , who is reputed to own over 6, pairs and is known to have purchased up to 80 pairs at a time when shopping at his stores. The red sole is protected as a trademark in several countries, and litigation has taken place in various disputes in which Louboutin claimed infringement of its rights.

Litigation generally also involved discussion of the validity or the scope of protection of the trademark. In , Louboutin filed a trademark infringement claim of the Benelux trademark against Dr. The Court of First Instance of Brussels declared the trademark however invalid. In France, in first instance the trademark of Louboutin was held valid, but not infringed by Zara. The Court of Appeal however considered the French trademark invalid.

Christian Louboutin

The latter decision was upheld by the French Supreme Court in In , in The Netherlands, Louboutin initiated litigation, based also on the Benelux trademark, against shoe retailer Van Haren, seeking to stop it from selling the red soled shoe "5th Avenue by Halle Berry". The District Court of The Hague proposed in to ask preliminary questions to the European Court of Justice that it considered necessary in order to determine whether the trademark would be valid. In , Christian Louboutin company filed a US trademark infringement claim of its red-soled shoes against designer Yves Saint Laurent.

District Judge Victor Marrero denied the firm's request to stop the sale of women's shoes with red soles by Yves Saint Laurent. The judge questioned the validity of the trademark, writing, "Louboutin's claim would cast a red cloud over the whole industry, cramping what other designers do, while allowing Louboutin to paint with a full palette.


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The Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property rejected Louboutin's trademark's extension to Switzerland in , considering the trademark invalid. In his first year of business, Louboutin sold pairs of shoes. As of March , the firm employed staff members [50] referred to as Loubi's Angels around the world. Most of the footwear is manufactured and produced at his factory in Milan, but he also maintains a small atelier on Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, for private clients and one of a kind creations. Louboutin has said over the past decade, he has been offered licensing deals on everything from cars and glasses to swimwear and ready-to-wear, but has turned them down as he does not want his name to be one that can be licensed.

In , he launched a collection of men's footwear at a new exclusive store in Paris. Two explanations were given why Louboutin started a men's line. The first was a story of a French woman who asked him to make her a pair of shoes for her very large feet. Instead, he passed them along to a friend who gave them to her husband. They're super-excited to buy the 'new thing. They treat shoes very much as objects, as collectors' items.

Why Louboutin shoes are so expensive

Of course, there is still a group that is more conservative in their tastes. They like to pass their shoes down to their son or say they have had a pair for 25 years". In support of this launch, the high-end department store created Loubiville, a five-window visual merchandising display. The product is a logical brand extension, as an assistant's nail polish was the impetus for the shoes' red soles. Much like the shoes, the polish is receiving attention for its provocative shape, a long spiky cap, designed to resemble a calligrapher's brush or a spire.

In , he expanded his foray into beauty with a lipstick collection.


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  4. Facts we learned from Christian Louboutin: The World's Most Luxurious Shoes.

The tube was inspired by Babylonian architecture and Middle Eastern antiquities. Louboutin entered the fragrance market in with the release of three parfums: Bikini Questa Sera, with jasmine and tuberose notes; Tornade Blonde, with rose and cassis notes; and Trouble in Heaven, with patchouli and amber notes. The bottles were designed by Thomas Heatherwick 's studio, which was also responsible for designing the Olympic cauldron.

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In , he collaborated with the filmmaker David Lynch on Fetish , an exhibition of his shoes in Lynch's photographs as erotic sculptural objects including ballet pumps made vertical by an impossible heel, or shoes with heels projecting inches beyond the sole [59] Viennese heel. In conjunction with Bergdorf Goodman , he held a competition for design students at the Parsons New School for Design who graduated in and , encouraging them to create apparel inspired by Louboutin's silhouettes of the past two decades, as well as the brand's new capsule collection.

In , he was commissioned by Disney to create a modern-day Cinderella-inspired pair of slippers limited to just 20 pieces, to complement release of the Cinderella : Diamond Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack in the fall. Dubbed the Crazy Luxor bar , the sculptural piece is shaped like a stiletto and is finished in a high-shine black lacquer with a red trim to echo the designer's signature red sole. The ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics on the facade of the bar are in honour of his love of Egypt.

Louboutin was also one of the judges at the Martini Royale Casting Party to find the new face of the drinks brand. In , Louboutin was celebrated at Toronto's Design Exchange [67] with a comprehensive exhibit featuring themes of showgirls, fetish, construction and travel.

In the spring of , the company opened its first men's store in New York City, with over 93 square metres 1, square feet of space and located next to its existing Horatio Street store. During Miami Basel art fair when the store opened in , he said, "You don't get this with Europeans—but Americans actually come into my office in Paris to meet me, and a lot of those people are from Miami.

Christian Louboutin is 'vaguely horrified' by how some people wear his shoes - Insider

The 2,square-foot space was designed by Eric Clough and box. Still more orchids project from a wall in the entry gallery. Pantyhose have been recycled by Dutch artist Madeleine Berkhemer into a multi-colored sculpture that stretches over the empty concrete floor with some of Louboutin's signature shoes dangling in the overhead tangle of nylon "like insects trapped in a psychedelic spider's web.

The inside areas in the store are defined by lush red carpeting. Blue, blown-glass chandeliers hang from the ceilings. Louboutin's own website sells some of their products online, and contains a statement that it is the only legitimate online source with the word Louboutin in the domain name to do so.

Online, counterfeit Louboutin shoes are available. The company set up a separate website focused on protecting the brand and detailing more than 3, websites that sell fake goods, many of which have been closed down. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Christian Louboutin. Paris , France. The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 16 April Daily Front Row.

Archived from the original on 9 June Archived from the original on 22 January Archived from the original on 3 November The Independent. Archived from the original on 29 October Encyclopedia of World Biography 2 ed. The New Yorker. Archived from the original on 23 March The Scotsman. Archived from the original on 20 May Channel 4, UK.

Archived from the original on 21 August Narrator: Fiona Flynn. The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 14 August British Vogue. Archived from the original on 27 November Retrieved 15 February American Express Publishing Corporation.

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Archived from the original on 8 June Archived from the original on 27 July Daily Mail. Archived from the original on 5 April Elle Decor. Hearst Communications, Inc. Archived from the original on 3 January Archived from the original on 29 April Fairfax New Zealand. Fairfax Media.