Monday, November 23, 2009

My Journey into the Land of Red Haute Soles

I remember my first visit to the Christian Louboutin boutique in Paris. The year was 2007 and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the shoe of all shoes. My friend Carole, who lives in Paris and loves all things fashionable, and I ventured to the original flagship store in the Passage Vero-Dodat area. As I made my way to the small French storefront, I remember rounding each corner with girly anticipation that I would soon be surrounded by a sea of red soles.
Upon entering this magical little shop, my eyes dazzled at the display of shoes surrounding me. I was greeted with a friendly “bonjour” by the shop keeper. I responded in kind and began browsing the selection. I must have tried on 20 pair of Loubous and yet each one reminded me of a work of art inspired by the ultimate jewelry collection. Each shoe is handmade with at least 10 pairs of hands leaving no sparkling crystal unturned. Every red haute sole is cut piece by piece and hand sewn to perfection. “The creative process is like being on a trapeze. It’s like dreaming, I feel totally outside myself when I am flying” explains Christian Louboutin, Designer.
So how did the red soles come about, I wondered? "I did not really choose the red sole. It’s more like the red sole came to me and had to stay with me,” explains Louboutin. “It started as a happy accident, which I kept. I was very inspired by pop art so all my drawings were really full of colors.” And thanks to his assistant who decided to paint her nails with red polish… Louboutin had an ahha moment. “Thank God I had this girl with me who was painting her nails. Grabbed her nail polish - thank you to Chanel for that! I grabbed the nail polish and I painted the sole.”
It’s true, “Every little girl going into womanhood dreams of the Cinderella shoe.” I was no different… only I had to dream of the perfect work shoe, social event shoe and weekend style find. I’ve learned to dream bigger thanks to Oprah! It’s all about the “Art of the foot and the sexiness of the arch,” says Louboutin. So true, so true, I often say to myself to justify the cost of my Loubous. Although, I have learned a shopping secret—Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue sales with an extra 25-30% off! I still have to back away from the shoe and talk it out of my hand until such time.
Before I left the store with Loubous in hand, I thought to myself, this must be a dream. I waved goodbye to the red soles adorning the walls and tables in front of the window. A smile crossed my face and then the feeling hit me... I could just dance my way right out the door back to the nearest Metro station. These shoes represent drama in all of its glittering form. After all, “Nobody wears shoes like a dancer on stage” says Louboutin. Putting on a pair of these beautiful red soles is like performing for the world. As I stepped off the curb, I thought… this is just the beginning of my red sole obsession.
Fast Facts About Christian Louboutin:
Louboutin has trained with Charles Jourdan and freelanced for Chanel, Maud Frison, and Yves St. Laurent.  In 1998, Louboutin worked with the great shoe designer Roger Vivier and helped him organize an exhibition of Vivier's work.

In 1992, Louboutin opened his own shop in the Passage Vero-Dodat in Paris. The Louboutin brand and the famous red soles were born. Today, Louboutin's creations adorn the feet of royals and famous celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, and Catherine Zeta Jones.
For More Info:

From the Oprah Show:
The Face Behind the Name: Christian Louboutin
Do you have a red sole story?
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