10 Things You Don’t Know About…Christian Louboutin

by Sydney Sadick

It’s safe to call the man responsible for elevating women’s footwear and giving meaning to red soles a legend. Christian Louboutin, the French shoe mogul, launched his career as a child and has since turned his love for women’s shoes into a growing empire that has expanded into men’s handbags, and beauty. The shoe icon got personal in a candid conversation with Fern Mallis on the 92Y stage last week, and revealed everything from his love for showgirls to putting raw meat in high heels and making celebs pay for their own soles. For the latest installment of “10 Things You Don’t Know About…,” we present the most fascinating facts about Mr. Louboutin….

  1. He interned at Charles Jourdan: He called a representative at the brand and was invited to show his designs in-person. Then he was brought to the South of France, where the shoes were made.
  2. Showgirls inspired his early designs: As a teen, he snuck into theaters and eventually got a job working for the Folies-Bergère, a cabaret in Paris. “It was a good way to know about shoes, because for showgirls, shoes are very important. They have very little costume, in general, so they know how to express a lot with shoes.”
  3. Veal taught him the importance of cushioning high heels: The showgirls in the cabaret he worked at kept asking him to buy raw veal cutlets from the grocery store—but they weren’t for eating! They were used inside the shoes to cushion their dance steps. “It was always kosher! No blood. That was important!”
  4. Before deciding on red soles, he tested another color: Green was the other color Louboutin tested for the bottom of his soles. But he came to the conclusion that women who didn’t wear much color wore red with lipstick and nail polish, leading him believe that it would be an exception for the soles of shoes, too.
  5. He only gives free shoes to friends: “You’re dying to have this thing or that thing? That’s an important feeling that everybody should be able to have, regardless of how famous you are. So it’s actually an act of charity that I’m doing [by not giving away the shoes for free]. That said, I give shoes to friends—so if you’re a friend, celebrity or not, I give shoes. But I’m not saying all stars are good friends of mine.”
  6. He never watched Sex and the City until he met Sarah Jessica Parker: He didn’t own a TV. Sarah Jessica Parker came up to him at an event saying how much of fan she was over his shoes after the show bought them for the costumes. He said she was “super nice,” and has since watched the series.
  7. He doesn’t believe in astrology: “[Astrology is] a girly thing. But I love being a Capricorn!”
  8. He won’t talk politics: “Melania Trump is off limits.”
  9. His first collection was released in America a year after it was made: He expressed his concern to buyers that it felt old to him to release a collection one year later. His team told him to be quiet! The shoes ended up hitting the U.S. market.
  10. He owns multiple homes around the world: Egypt, Syria, and Paris are just a few places he calls home. He hasn’t been to his Syria home since 2010.

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