Christian Louboutin: Painting the World Red

4 years ago by

Photos Lou Mora

Christian Louboutin is a superstar – and yet he built his shoe empire with the innocence of a child. It’s that positivity and that creative energy that makes him so unique – and that makes him such a great guest. We met at the Chateau Marmont, in Penthouse 54, which we decided is our favorite. I hope you’ll love getting to know him better!

On why he doesn’t like swimming in the Pacific…
First of all, I love to swim in the sea, but by the Pacific, I have the feeling it’s only 10 meters and then it’s actually super deep! It scares me. I was the first generation that saw Jaws and that really sticks with you!

On always loving performers…
I have always been fascinated by performers. I am not at all impressed by celebrities sort of doing nothing except their Instagram. I’m just not interested by people doing nothing but exposing themselves with their own cameras. I have always been interested by people doing things and performers. Singers, actors, dancers, anything that you read and you have an emotion given by someone.

pardon my french christian louboutin garance dore photo

pardon my french christian louboutin garance dore photo

On what he wanted to do…
I wanted to work for show girls. The reality was that I never thought of fashion at that time and I liked fashion, but it was not necessarily my interest. I had never looked the fashion magazines or anything. I was really looking at dance magazines mostly and cinema magazines because I loved cinema. But fashion, I never had opened a Vogue. I’m not someone who would have done anything to work in the fashion industry. You know, I was not interested in the industry of fashion. I was interested in clothes, in women, in beauty, I was interested in shoes and dance, but I was not interested in the fashion world. Never!

On going to Parisian clubs in his youth…
We were spending hours to dress up, and it was every day. I think it was closed on a Monday. So on a Monday you could sort of relax, but from Tuesday to Sunday night, you would go and definitely never put on the same outfit! I think that when you were a club kid in the late seventies in Paris and you liked to dress up, people were happy and welcoming. And you always had someone to give you something to drink, and people were celebrating you, fashion, etc. I never remember being thirsty, that’s for sure!

On not liking to perform…
The only time I was not very, very bad, was a Chinese movie and I played Christian Louboutin, so it really wasn’t playing someone else and I didn’t have to think too much. So that was ok. But the two other times I had to perform, I don’t know why I said yes, but I was super petrified!

pardon my french christian louboutin garance dore photo

On getting his start at Dior…
When I was eighteen, I stopped working for show girls and I thought okay I have to do something. I opened the phonebook, and I looked at the fashion houses. The first one was Balmain, so nobody answered. The second one I called was Christian Dior. I called and I said, “I would like to speak to the director.” They said, “Director of what?” I said, “Director of the couture.” They asked for my name and two minutes after I was speaking to a lovely person called Helene, who I really consider my first fairy. She was very very sweet and she was the director of couture. She said, “So, what are you doing?” I said I draw shoes and I want to show you my shoes. She says, ”Yes, come up.” I came up a week after and I was in the middle of the house of Christian Dior with the director of couture. She looked and she says, “It’s very very pretty. Would you like to work for Dior?

On the decision to paint his soles red…
I remember painting it and thinking it was pretty. It’s not a moment where I thought, “This is going to be a mark of recognition or this a trademark eventually.” A lot of people came to me saying that it was so smart, but I didn’t do it as a trademark. I wasn’t looking for a trademark. You know, it just happened. So it was organic, and most of the the things I remember as important things happened organically. It’s never been a choice for my brain, but it always came from my heart.

pardon my french christian louboutin garance dore photo

pardon my french christian louboutin garance dore photo

pardon my french christian louboutin garance dore photo

On what’s important when designing shoes…
Beauty, freedom and desire is the thing that I’m always thinking when I’m designing shoes. My job, what I like to do, is to do beautiful shoes and to propose scenarios to women. It’s up to them to know what scenario they want to play.

On working with Sabyasachi Mukherjee…
Before working together, we started to have a great relationship because he’s a fantastic, very very smart person, and super, super, super interesting, and in many ways quite a specific, special character. I started to do the shoes for his shows, which was a beautiful thing because every year he was doing a big show. And in a different culture, my shoes have been associated with music, sarees, or dresses that he’s doing, which are really Indian and cut only the way an Indian can do well and understand. It’s super great. I love to assist with his shows.

On enjoying life…
Life is going to bring you in different directions. Enjoy it. Sometimes I have to speak, for instance, to fashion people or students. I say, “Just enjoy what you’re doing, don’t decide on a specific target that in ten years you have to be there, or in fifteen years you have to have done that.” Don’t decide in five years you want to be there because five years after and you’re not where you decided, did you miss everything? Don’t restrain yourself to one specific target, you’ll have so much anxiety. Just enjoy life everyday.

Christian Louboutin: Painting the World Red

Other things discussed…
Farida Khelfa
Hamilton Bohannon
Le Palace
Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?

You can get the latest from Christian Louboutin here and here.


Add yours
  • Louboutin comes across as completely charming in every interview, but he’s especially warm here. The kind of person you’d like to invite over.
    Those shoes he’s wearing are just amazing. Works of art.

  • Je me souviens l’avoir vu dans un tout petit atelier, coller un à un des strass sur des talons , alors qu’il n’était pas encore connu. J’admirais sa patience. Quelle belle destinée, au coup de coeur ! Installé dans l’un des passages magiques de Paris. L’enchantement de l’Inde lui va si bien.

  • This is a great interface and it gives me great joy. What stands out is the original call made to Christian Dior , thank god for people like Helene ! You ,Christian and others have this power of grace, remember how one individual can change a life! Life dictates you must pass it on !
    Dress The Part

  • Berenice October, 30 2017, 5:44 / Reply

    He is my mentor he is a genius, a real gentlemen. I am working for him in Italy where we make the shoes if you ever fancy visiting the factrory Garance. Et oui après Toulouse maintenant l’Italie. J’adore le mexicaba bag et ses chaussures sont des objets d’art. But I would need some advices as my next step might be LA ?.

  • Works of art. Love all of these stunning things, really amazing!

  • Alexandra October, 31 2017, 6:52 / Reply

    Mais quel belle interview et quel homme charmant ! On m’a toujours dit que CL était la délicatesse même, ça transpire de cet interview. Merci !

  • OMG that is so weird! I just (sneaky) made a shot of the shoes and socks of a colleague at a meeting just 3 hours ago! @fabiduister

  • Wow, what a great interview. I am astounded by the calling up Dior story – it could never happen to day, but I feel like it’s one of those pre-social-media stories that we will be telling our grandchildren. His philosophy on enjoying every day no matter where you are is perfect. Thank you for sharing, Garance!

    I love to listen to you podcasts, cut up my fruit/veggies for theh week, and mask! Recently, I reviewed a wonderful little organic skincare mask. Check it out here:

  • Carlene Perry November, 3 2017, 11:02 / Reply

    Wonderful interview. Monsieur Louboutin mentioned a film he recently saw that changed him and stuck with him for a few days. What was the film? He was cut off before being able to mention it.

  • I really really loved this interview! one of the best ones yet! Such a charming, humble, honest guy. It totally changed my view on his name and brand after listening to this, thank you!

  • Ladonna Jackson November, 6 2017, 6:31 / Reply

    First, this was a wonderful and insightful interview. Second, his shoes in the picture. I absolutely love them & must have them. They are not on his website so how do I go about obtaining them?

  • Fantastic interview and that story with Christian Dior is so inspiring. Every person, no matter how huge their celebrity, has their day one. It doesn’t feel like you are interviewing Monsieur Louboutin…it feels so comfortable.

  • Curieux de savoir ce que ça fait d’être un marque de son vivant !

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