Tag Archives: red sole

What inspired Christian Louboutin to make his shoe soles red?

13 Feb

Even someone who doesn’t know much about haute couture understands the significance of a red sole on the bottom of a stiletto.

It’s the trademark of Christian Louboutin, the French shoemaker to the stars whose art has adorned the feet of everyone from Dita Von Teese, Barbie and Charlize Theron to Rihanna and Sienna Miller. It’s even been immortalised in a song by J-Lo called, unsurprisingly, Louboutins.

But I wanted to know where the inspiration to make such a bottoms up statement came from. And the answer is nail polish.

As legend tells it, Louboutin was working on a design prototype in the early days of his career and couldn’t put his finger on why the shoe wasn’t working. Suddenly he pinpointed the problem – the black sole was too dark.

Nearby, an assistant was doing her nails, so he grabbed her red polish and painted the soles. He soon realised he was on a winner and the legend was born.

These days he sells hundreds of thousands of pairs each year, not withstanding legal battles with YSL over his trademark. But even if you can’t afford to join his customer list, you can borrow his inspiration, with this Louboutin manicure.

And now back to J-Lo . . .