Christian Louboutin is arguable the world’s most unapologetic shoe designer. Many have criticised his red-soled heels as disempowering women – he disagrees and makes no attempt to hide the fact that he designs to make women feel sexy, rather than comfortable, and admits that his creations are designed more for men than for women.
Louboutin had somewhat of a bohemian childhood and frequented the clubs of Paris alongside celebrities from a young age, before leaving home for good at the age of 12.
Here’s Christian Louboutin at his most memorable, on his shoes, fashion, style and women:
1. “I hate the whole concept of comfort! It’s like when people say, ‘Well, we’re not really in love, but we’re in a comfortable relationship.’ You’re abandoning a lot of ideas when you are too into comfort.”
2. “The core of my work is dedicated not to pleasing women, but to pleasing men. Men are like bulls – they cannot resist the red sole.”
3. “What is sexual in a high heel is the arch of the foot, because it is exactly the position of a woman’s foot when she orgasms… So putting your foot in a heel, you are putting yourself in a possibly orgasmic situation.”
4. “Fashion isn’t interesting when it comes from an uninspired place. It’s like voodoo; we don’t want things that are soaked in blood, sweat, and tears. I adore life, and I’m very easy-going – and it shows in my work.”
5. “What was called extreme 20 years ago definitely isn’t extreme anymore. When I started, I remember people saying, ‘Oh my God, I can’t walk in that!’ It was like, three inches – they look like kitten heels now.”
6. “One moves more slowly in heels. Walking fast is neither sexy nor engaging. Nobody notices the people who race around. If you’re walking in heels, you’ve got time. It’s much more attractive.”
7. “Funnily enough, the most difficult style to do is the plain pump because it needs to look good on a variety of feet. I compare it to having a good bone structure. Make-up will make you look good, but it helps if you have a good skeleton to begin with.”
8. “There is an element of seduction in shoes that doesn’t exist for men. A woman can be sexy, charming, witty or shy with her shoes.”
9. “When a woman buys shoes, she takes them out of the box and looks at herself in the mirror. But she isn’t really looking at her shoes – she’s looking at herself. If she likes herself then she likes the shoes.”
10. “I do like fashion, but when I’m designing, I never think of clothes. The object of the shoe, for me, is it. I can imagine that some heels don’t look good with fluffy skirts, et cetera. But it’s not a natural instinct to think clothes. When I draw, the girl is naked always. I never put in an element of clothing.”