Christian Louboutin has been credited with making women's legs look longer, creating celebrity high heel frenzies, inspiring serious lust and temporary credit card insanity in fashion editors like me, and perhaps most importantly, turning the once-overlooked sole of a shoe into a bona fide status symbol. So just how did his highly coveted cherry red soles come to be?
This week's New Yorker has a funny and very telling profile on the shoe designer, and nestled among the many incredible anecdotes (a few of my favorites: He owns a 13th century castle where a taxidermy boar wearing a gold crown also resides; he once custom-made a pair of shoes with real ruby soles for a private client) is the story of how those red bottoms became his signature.
Back in 1993 when he had been in business for about two years, "Louboutin had thought of making a shoe inspired by Andy Warhol's 'Flowers.' The prototype, a pink stacked heel with a cartoonish cloth blossom, had arrived from Italy. 'I was very happy, because it was similar to the drawing,' Louboutin recalled, 'but the drawing still was stronger and I could not understand why.' Louboutin continued, 'There was this big black sole, and then, thank God, there was this girl painting her nails at the time.' Louboutin grabbed the nail polish—it was red—from the assistant and slathered it on the sole of the prototype. 'Then it popped,' he recalled, 'and I thought, This is the drawing!'"
Funny how a business worth a global fortune gained its footing, so to speak, with something as teeny tiny as a bottle of nail polish, huh? Isn't it amazing how those flashy soles really do make the shoes pop? As Louboutin tells it, "Men are like bulls. They cannot resist the red sole," and yet if it hadn't been for an assistant painting her nails at that exact moment, they might never have been a part of the signature Louboutin style! What do you gals think of this story? Kinda cool, huh? Discuss!
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