Christian Laboutin was born in 1963 in Paris and his family didn’t exactly create that type of an environment you would expected for one of the top fashion designer – Christian’s dad was a cabinetmaker while his mom was taking care of him and his three older sisters. So was the influence of all these girls he was surrounded by responsible for a birth of a legend? Or was it just a Parisian fashion atmospere? Hardly. It was more matter of a coincidence, dedication and hard work.
Young Christian wasn’t that much into school so it’s no surprise once in a while he sneaked out. Usually it was just to visit some flea market or showgirls performances.
We can just assume his passion for shoes comes from that times, but he claims something else. According to Christian Laboutin, it all started in Musée national des Arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie, which is a museum of African art in Paris. There he saw a sign forbidding high heels with a picture of a stiletto shoe. This image has stucked in his mind and he later use it in designing his famous, red sole high heels.
Even though young Christian was already into a fashion during his studies, he decided to first do some other things. He showed in a few movies, than was working at the cabaret as an assistant, and then did a little traveling around Egypt and India. He returned to Paris in early eightees and started to work with well known French shoe designer, Charles Jourdan.
After a while he met Roger Vivier and soon decided to join him. Turned out it was a great decision. Under his influence Laboutin has learnt a lot about shoe design and developed his shoe making skills.
Subsequently, Christian was experienced enough to set up his own company. He tries to make woman feel sexy, beautiful and comfortable in their own skin since 1990. Back than, it was just a normal designer shoes. Then he had an idea. He saw his assistent painting her nails red and in that exact moment the legendary red -bottoms high heels were borned.
Red soles atracted a lot of celebrities, such as Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears or Sarah Jessica Parker, which helped Christian to become one of the top shoe designer of all times.
Fashion industry isn’t just about clothes or shoes designing and enjoing your fame. It could be much more though than it looks like. For example, in 2011 Yves Saint Laurent was sued by Christian Louboutin for using red soles on their whole red high shoe. In the end, both parties won.
The court ruled that Laboutin could use a trademark protection over his red soled high heels but Yves Saint Laurent could produce shoes with red bottom as well, just under one condicion – the whole shoe will be red. Does it sound like a win – win situation to you?
Today, when you say Christian Laboutin, everyone instantly knows what you are talking about. His signature red soles are very well known and selled all over the world. Over the years he also started to produce hanbags, wallets, men’s shoes and nail polishes. With all of this, there is no doubt Christian is one of the top shoe designer in the world.
But what about his personal life? It looks he just got it all. He is in a relationship with the landscape architect, Louis Benech and spend time equaly in France, Portugal and Egypt, where are his four houses. Also, he loves trapeze flying, and travelling, of course. But how does he have time for all of that? According to him, full itineraries keeps him creative. So maybe this is the key to success.