The Man Behind the Red Bottoms

Do you wear shoes for comfort? For style? Or for practicality? Whether you wear shoes because they are comfortable or they look great with your outfit, everyone wears shoes; they are an everyday necessity.  Like many people, I have an obsession with shoes and recently I have found myself becoming obsessed with designer shoes.

We all know the famous line from Cardi B, “These expensive, these is red bottoms, these is bloody shoes.” The man behind these famous ‘red bottoms’ is Christian Louboutin. The french designer was born in 1963 into a family of six; with his dad being a cabinetmaker and his mom who stayed home to take care of him and his three sisters. Louboutin got into the shoe making business when he was just 16 years old after he visited a museum with a sign that read “heels not permitted.” He described in an interview that the sign “totally fascinated” him. Louboutin had never seen shoes like that before, and thus he started sketching his own designs of heels.

redbottom

Two years after his first fascination with heels, Louboutin started working with Charles Jourdan, a famed shoe designer. Through working with Jourdan, he learned all about the shoe business from start to finish. After working with Jourdan for a few years, Louboutin then went on to become a freelance designer; which he did for many years. However, in the early 1990’s, he set up his own shop in Paris and launched his first line of women’s shoes. It wasn’t until 1993 that the legendary red soles were added. The ‘red bottoms’ came from Christian Louboutin’s assistant when she was painting her nails red one day and thus sparked Louboutin’s inspiration.  He thought of the red soles as being “flirtatious” and “sexy.” Many customers told him to stop painting the soles red, but after the Princess of Monaco and singers, such as Madonna, got their hands on them, the trend was unstoppable.

Since then, Christian Louboutin’s trademark has become very successful; he even started designing men’s shoes in 2011. Each year, Christian Louboutin sells more than 500,000 pairs of shoes and the price of a pair of Louboutin shoes can range from $400 to upwards of $6,000. He has even started designing and selling handbags, along with nail polish, fragrances, and lipsticks. Louboutin continues to grow and expand to this day.

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