The Early Years
Growing up in Paris, one of the most fashion-conscious cities on the planet, Christian Louboutin was always surrounded by glamour and fashion. At only sixteen years old, one of his first jobs was sewing sequins onto costumes at the world famous cabaret, Folies Bergère. However, it was actually a trip to a museum that sparked his love for women’s shoes. During the visit, Louboutin was shocked by a sign that was forbidding women from wearing heels, so as not to mark the floor. It was this idea of the ‘forbidden shoe’ that inspired Louboutin to create the heels today that we know and love. He wanted to create a shoe that inspired and empowered women, which is what makes the fiery red sole all the more appealing.
Christian Louboutin founder of the red sole shoe
The red sole of the Louboutin heel is recognised worldwide and is a global symbol or luxurious elegance. However, it was actually created by accident, rather than by a planned design. The red sole was born one afternoon when a prototype of a shoe inspired by Andy Warhol’s ‘Flowers’ arrived in the hands of Louboutin, who found the shoe a little dull. Fortunately, an assistant was painting her nails red at the time of the arrival of the shoe, and Louboutin had the unique idea of using it to cover the dreary black sole; and so the iconic red sole was made. Red is said to symbolise love, passion and blood, which empowers women and unleashes their inner confidence, allowing them to break the constraints of society, whilst wearing the ‘forbidden shoe.’
Red Sole Aftermath
Thanks to the nail polish accident, the red sole Christian Louboutin heel is now world renowned and sells more than five hundred thousand pairs of shoes a year. The vivid red glossy sole not only benefits the wearer, giving them a sense of secret pleasure and confidence, but also benefits the company from a business perspective. Louboutin managed to transform a part of a shoe that had previously been ignored, into something that is both aesthetically exciting and commercially useful. Louboutin prefers not to advertise or give away free pairs to celebrities, he would rather let his shoes and red soles do the talking. To mark the success of the red sole accident, Louboutin created a nail polish called Rouge Louboutin that is the exact same colour as the red soles. However, we would not recommend using this on your shoes!