French shoe designer Christian Louboutin talks to Justine Lee about shopping habits, the addictive nature of social media and why it’s a good thing that Hong Kong women are spoiled.
The designer arrives a few minutes behind schedule but in good spirits. Couture Week is a busy time for Louboutin. As well as hosting his own show, he attends those of his designer friends. It was only last night that he presented his spring 2019 collection in a little theatre and dance school converted into “the wonderful world of Louboutin,” which tied into how he began his career—designing shoes for burlesque dancers.
“Busy day, busy days, busy week,” Louboutin laments about his schedule as he kicks off his red-soled penny loafers and adopts a comfortable perch on the sofa with his legs crossed. And it’s been a busy career since he launched his eponymous label in 1991, with the creative genius expanding into men’s accessories, handbags and, more recently, cosmetics and fragrance.
Tell us about your latest collection.
I come across a lot of the inspiration for my collections by chance. Something just hits you when you meet someone, see an exhibition or come across something. Spring/summer 2019 started with this book, Les Décorateurs des Années 60-70. It’s about the famous decorators of the 1960s and ’70s—French and Italian mostly. The big decorators were very innovative at the time with their designs and created things from chrome, metal, PVC, and mixed all these extremely luxurious materials with things that were more common, so mixing golden gates with wood or chrome. They referenced a lot of eras such as Haute Époque and the Renaissance. There’s also a little part that’s influenced by China and Japan, mostly lacquer art. For me, it’s all in the details.
Where do you create your collections?
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