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Awkward red-soled 'stiletto heels': why everyone is crazy about Louboutin shoes


Source: Adme

Even those who are far from fashion or who prefer athletic shoes know about the Louboutin brand. Jennifer Lopez dedicated her song to the shoes of this brand. And in 2016, the Leningrad group shot a video for the song Exhibit, which actually shows the real story of creating the brand: in fact, the creation of the red sole of Christian Louboutin was also inspired by nail polish. We studied the secret to the success of this shoe and found out why it is nevertheless correct to pronounce the brand name “Louboutin” and not “Louboutin” or “Louboutin”.

Photo: Shutterstock

1. How did the Louboutin brand appear?

According to Louboutin, his passion for shoes began in 1976, when, while still a schoolboy, he visited the Museum of Art of Africa and Oceania. There Christian saw a sign that forbade women to enter the building in stilettos so as not to damage the expensive floor. He later said: “I wanted to challenge this. I wanted to create something that breaks the rules and makes women feel confident and self-sufficient. ”

Christian was fascinated by world culture, in his youth he spent a year in Egypt, and also lived in India. Upon returning to Paris, he created a portfolio of drawings of high-heeled shoes. This led him to work with designer Charles Jourdan, and then to freelance collaboration with Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent.

In the late 80s, Louboutin wanted to give up his career in footwear and engage in landscape design, but he really missed shoes. The famous red sole appeared in 1993. Christian was upset that the sketches of the shoes on paper looked beautiful, but something was missing from them live. Reflecting on what could be added, he suddenly saw a red nail polish from his assistant. The designer immediately painted their soles and realized that these shoes would succeed.

2. The company defends the right to red soles and sues those who use it

In some countries, the red sole is a trademark and other shoe manufacturers cannot use it in their models. This rule applies in some countries of the European Union, in Russia, China, Australia and other countries.

Christian Louboutin has repeatedly sued those who, in his opinion, violate his copyrights. In 2011, he filed a lawsuit against Zara because of the similarity of their pair of shoes with the Louboutin model Yo Yo. However, the French court remained on the side of the defendant, explaining that the conditions of the plaintiff’s trademark were vague and the combination of colors could not be patented.

In April 2011, litigation between Louboutin and Yves Saint Laurent also began. Christian Louboutin sued his competitors, claiming that they copy the design of his shoes. The process lasted 18 months, during which the companies filed suits against each other. At the last hearing, the court transferred the right to the red sole to the Christian Louboutin brand. Yves Saint Laurent allowed the use of this trademark only if the entire surface of the shoes is painted in this color.

3. Make shoes by hand and produce exclusive models

Louboutin shoes are handmade. For the production of each unit, more than 30 operations must be completed; this takes about 150 hours. Soles are painted in a corporate color in an atmosphere of strict secrecy.

Prices for shoes are very high and can reach up to $ 6 thousand. This is determined, inter alia, by the fact that rare and exclusive materials are used in production. For example, raccoon fur, Swarovski crystals, feathers. But, despite the high price, the red sole of the shoe starts to get stuck already after the first sock.

In addition to the classics, the Louboutin collection has exclusive and, to put it mildly, unusual pairs of shoes. So, for the premiere of the film “Maleficent” Christian Louboutin together with Angelina Jolie created shoes with an unusual shape of the heel. The profit from their sales was directed to charity - to the organization “SOS. Children's villages. ” And the art of ballet inspired the master to model Louboutin Ballerina - pointe shoes on a huge heel with red soles.

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4. They openly say that their shoes are uncomfortable

Christian Louboutin does not position shoes as comfortable. In an interview with Vogue, he once said: “People call me the king of uncomfortable shoes. Of course, I don’t want your legs to hurt, but creating something comfortable is not my task. I try to make high heels as comfortable as possible, but the main thing for me is still design, beauty and sexuality. I’m not against comfort, but I don’t focus on it. ”

Nevertheless, the girls find these shoes quite comfortable. But there is a life hack: buying shoes that will not sit tight on the leg, but a little loose. It is also advisable to use special pads so that the shoes do not rub.

5. Can sew a pair of shoes to order

In Paris there is an atelier of Christian Louboutin, where 4 craftsmen work and make shoes according to individual orders.

At first, the director of the atelier measures the client’s foot at over 12 key points. Then, using the form, a unique 3-dimensional model of the leg is created. The customer chooses the design, and the process of sewing shoes begins. The website of the fashion shoe house says that not a single finished shoe model leaves the walls of the workshop without a red sole and without the approval of Christian Louboutin himself.

For the French actress Ariel Domballe made a pair of shoes with transparent heels. Inside were love letters from her philosopher husband, a lock of hair and a feather.

6. The Louboutin brand is actively fighting fakes, but has been accused of exploiting people

Over the past few years, the company has sent hundreds of copyright infringement notifications to Google so that sites selling fake shoes are excluded from search results.

The official website of the fashion house has a Stopfake section. There you can check whether the original shoes are sold in a particular store, complain about scammers and read news about the fight against unscrupulous sellers.

Nevertheless, Christian Louboutin himself was accused of exploiting people - the Mayan Indians. In 2017, together with the artists of the Taller Maya Foundation, which is engaged in the preservation of ancient traditions, the designer produced a collection of Mexicaba bags. 10% of the sale was aimed at supporting the fund. But this collaboration caused a wave of indignation: Louboutin was criticized for paying 238 Mexican pesos ($ 12,51) for each bag, and selling for 28 thousand Mexican pesos ($ 1).

7. Does not worry about feminism and rejection of heels

In the wake of feminism and the growing popularity of sneakers, sales of high-heeled shoes began to decline. According to the research of the marketing company NPD Group, in the USA the demand for such models decreased by 11%.

Celebrities, who make up a significant portion of luxury shoe buyers, also joined the fight against uncomfortable shoes. In 2018, Kristen Stewart took off her red-soled shoes at the Cannes Film Festival, which provoked a heated discussion of her act online.

Christian Louboutin called it a game. He believes that girls do not wear heels to please men, and among feminists there are many self-sufficient women who do bright makeup and wear stilettos.

8. Louboutin not only make high-heeled shoes

After Christian Louboutin created beautiful shoes for women, he went on and came up with shoes for men. The first collection appeared in 2009. There is a section on the official website of the fashion house where you can find both sneakers, and classic shoes and exclusive models.

In 2014, Christian Louboutin brand released nail polish, in 2015 - lipstick. The lid of the bottle of lacquer resembles the shape of the heel of shoes, among the shades there is a red color - the same as that of the sole of the shoe. In addition, Louboutin has its own perfume, eyeliner, jewelry, belts and other accessories.

Bonus: how is the brand name pronounced correctly

The brand name is pronounced in the same way as the name of its founder - “Louboutin”. “Labuten” and “Labutan” do not speak, but in the song “Exhibit” this word is intentionally distorted.

Do you think Louboutin shoes are worth their money or is the price of a pair of classic shoes overpriced?

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