Christian Louboutin is a French shoe designer, born in 1963. As a child he was fascinated by ladies' shoes and by the time he reached his teens he was doodling his designs in his school books. He later attended Chanel's and Yves Saint Laurent's schools of design, to perfect his art, before opening his first boutique in Paris.
The boutique was a great success and other stores started to sell Louboutin's shoes.
Christian Loubouton's footwear is characterised by very high heels and red leather soles, with the Louboutin signature on them (see left). Recently, Louboutin has had a legal battle with the US company OH...DEER, who used the red sole on their footwear. Now the company has filed a trademark application in the US and will soon do the same in the UK to stop other shoe manufacturers using red soles on their footwear. Christian Louboutin told the US trademark office that "The shiny red color of the soles has no function other than to identify to the public that the shoes are mine." His trademark application is for a "lacquered red sole on footwear". So presumably, as a shoe manufacturer you could still use a none lacquered red sole and not fall foul of the trademark application. I would imagine it is very difficult to trademark something like a red sole. The question is, as Louboutin had red soled shoes first, should that preclude other manufacturers from ever making red soled shoes? Perhaps I should bring out my own range of shoes with a characteristic yellow sole. Or maybe blue. Or maybe yellow with blue spots? Either way, I don't really see how you can trademark a colour. As the fashion evolves, it tends to cycle through every style and colour possible. We shall see...
Christian Louboutin Stores
Christian Louboutin now has four shops in the US - two in New York, one in Beverley Hills and one in Las Vegas. There is also a Christian Louboutin shop in London. In total, he has about twenty boutiques world wide. His designs are sold in other high end shops such as Harvey Nicholls in Leeds, where I tried a pair on. I was beside myself with excitement but wasn't sure that I could last a whole evening on such high shoes!
Christian Louboutin shoes are also sold online at MyTheresa, an online store specialising in a number of well known designers. They have an excellent range online. The shoes pictured on the banner (see right) were all taken from the Matches website.
Christian Louboutins have possibly now established themselves as the number one sexy shoe in the world, possibly even sexier than Jimmy Choo! But hey - Sex in the City has finished now! In a recent poll featured in the Daily Telegraph, Christian Louboutin shoes were found to be the most sexy, with the classic black heels being the most popular. Wearing them makes a woman feel sexy - and if a woman feels sexy, she is more likely to appear sexy to the opposite sex.
Research in Italy has apparently concluded that wearing high heels can help tone the body and pelvic floor, and so improve the wearer's sex life. As a trained Pilates teacher, I would imagine that the research is floored as high heeled shoes throw the body out of alignment, but don't let me rain on the parade. Louboutin himself has stated that the shoes are the "perfect blend of beauty and sex appeal, high enough that they slow women down and give them a sexier gait".
The shoes are popular with both celebrities and housewives alike - the well heeled ones anyway (pun intended - sorry!). Britney Spears wore them to court for her recent custody battle, Kylie Minogue sports them on a recent pop video and Mika wore a specially made for him pair at a concert. Coleen McLoughlin has also been seen out and about in them.