|Birth Day:||January 7, 1963|
|Birth Place:||Paris, France|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
He discovered his interest in shoes at age 13 after visiting the Musée national des Arts d'Afrique de D'Oceanie.
His little formal training included drawing and the decorative arts at the Académie d'Art Roederer. Louboutin says his fascination with shoes began in 1976, when he visited the Musée national des Arts d'Afrique et d'Océanie on the avenue Daumesnil. It was there that he saw a sign from Africa forbidding women wearing sharp stilettos from entering a building for fear of damage to the extensive wood flooring. This image stayed in his mind, and he later used this idea in his designs. "I wanted to defy that," Louboutin said. "I wanted to create something that broke rules and made women feel confident and empowered."
Fascinated by world cultures, he ran away in his teens to Egypt and spent a year in India. Louboutin returned to Paris in 1981, where he assembled a portfolio of drawings of elaborate high heels. He brought it to the top couture houses. The effort resulted in employment with Charles Jourdan. Subsequently, Louboutin met Roger Vivier, who claims to have invented the stiletto, or spiked-heel shoe. Louboutin became an apprentice in Vivier's atelier.
Going on to serve as a freelance designer, Louboutin designed women's shoes for Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and Maud Frizon. In the late 1980s, he turned away from fashion to become a landscape gardener and to contribute to Vogue but missed working with shoes and set up his company in 1991.
With funds from two backers, he opened a Paris shoe salon in 1991 with Princess Caroline of Monaco as his first customer. She complimented the store one day when a fashion journalist was present, and the journalist's subsequent publication of Princess' comments helped greatly to increase Louboutin's renown. Clients such as Diane von Fürstenberg and Catherine Deneuve followed. Later, those interested in his stiletto heels have included Christina Aguilera, Shirley Coates, Joan Collins, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Tina Turner, Marion Cotillard, Nicki Minaj, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Blake Lively. Sarah Jessica Parker wore a pair of shoes by Louboutin for her wedding. Britney Spears wears a pair of high-heeled Louboutins in her music video "If U Seek Amy" that were not available for sale until a month after the video was released.
His signature red soles were first created in 1993. "My sketches were not reproduced exactly as I had designed them and I couldn't figure out why. The two dimensional sketch was so powerful on paper, but when turned into a three-dimensional object, it was somehow lacking energy. Frustrated after having tried different things to liven up the design, I spontaneously grabbed my assistant's red nail polish and painted the sole. I instantly knew that this would be a success!".
Louboutin has said over the past decade, he has been offered licensing deals on everything from cars and glasses to swimwear and ready-to-wear, but has turned them down as he does not want his name to be one that can be licensed. In 2003, his first extension outside of shoes was the introduction of his handbags and purses line.
Louboutin has topped the Luxury Institute's annual Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) for three years; the brand's offerings were declared the Most Prestigious Women's Shoes in 2007, 2008, and 2009. By 2011, Louboutin became the most searched-for shoe brand online.
In 2007, he collaborated with the filmmaker David Lynch on Fetish, an exhibition of his shoes in Lynch's photographs as erotic sculptural objects including ballet pumps made vertical by an impossible heel, or shoes with heels projecting inches beyond the sole (Viennese heel). He partnered once again with Lynch and Swizz Beats to compose music when Louboutin directed a show at Crazy Horse, called Feu, which ran from 5 March to 31 May 2012.
Wholesale purchases represented in 2009 88% of the business. Overseas, the company has partnered with Pedder Group of Hong Kong for distribution in their Asian markets and the Chalhoub Group of the United Arab Emirates for their representation in the Middle East.
Christian Louboutin Miami is located on 40th Street in the Design District of Miami, Florida. Louboutin chose to open a store in Miami because of the mix of businesses, the small urban scale, and his obvious following there. During Miami Basel art fair when the store opened in 2009, he said, "You don't get this with Europeans—but Americans actually come into my office in Paris to meet me, and a lot of those people are from Miami." The boutique stocks Louboutin's most colorful, strappy, precarious styles, on account of the subtropical climate and the fact that, Louboutin says, "people barely walk in the street."
In conjunction with Bergdorf Goodman, he held a competition for design students at the Parsons New School for Design who graduated in 2010 and 2011, encouraging them to create apparel inspired by Louboutin's silhouettes of the past two decades, as well as the brand's new capsule collection.
In 2011, Christian Louboutin company filed a US trademark infringement claim of its red-soled shoes against designer Yves Saint Laurent. The firm expected that the YSL shoe design will be revoked and is seeking US$1 million in damages. However, in August 2011, U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero denied the firm's request to stop the sale of women's shoes with red soles by Yves Saint Laurent. The judge questioned the validity of the trademark, writing, "Louboutin's claim would cast a red cloud over the whole industry, cramping what other designers do, while allowing Louboutin to paint with a full palette." In his thirty-two-page decision, Judge Marrero compared fashion designers to painters and noted how creativity for both is dependent upon using color as "an indispensable medium" that "plays a unique role." The Court observed that: "The law should not countenance restraints that would interfere with creativity and stifle competition by one designer, while granting another a monopoly invested with the right to exclude use of an ornamental or functional medium necessary for freest and most productive artistic expression by all engaged in the same enterprise." Jewelry company Tiffany & Co., which has its blue box trademarked, filed an amicus curiae brief supporting the right to trademark a color. In September 2012, the court finally ruled that Louboutin retains the exclusive right to use the color red on the bottom of its shoes whenever the outer portion of the shoe is any color besides red, while Yves Saint Laurent can continue to sell its shoes with red soles as long as the whole shoe is red. The YSL monochromatic shoe – red upper, red outsole – over which the lawsuit originally had been brought and against which Louboutin had tried and failed to get a preliminary injunction, therefore won't infringe the trimmed-down trademark.
The Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property rejected Louboutin's trademark's extension to Switzerland in 2011, considering the trademark invalid. The Swiss Federal Supreme Court confirmed the invalidity of the trademark in Switzerland in February 2017.
In 2011, he launched a collection of men's footwear at a new exclusive store in Paris. Two explanations were given why Louboutin started a men's line. The first was a story of a French woman who asked him to make her a pair of shoes for her very large feet. He custom-created the size 13 1/2 shoes for her, but she didn't end up buying them. Instead, he passed them along to a friend who gave them to her husband. The second story was that the idea of starting a men's line came from musician Mika, who asked Louboutin to design all the shoes for his show for his tour. He also noticed, "There is a group of men that is thinking a little bit more like women. They're super-excited to buy the 'new thing.' I've noticed on blogs, for example, that men are very serious about their shoes now. They treat shoes very much as objects, as collectors' items. Of course, there is still a group that is more conservative in their tastes. They like to pass their shoes down to their son or say they have had a pair for 25 years". A unique feature introduced was the Tattoo Parlor, where customers could have digital photos taken of their ink and embroidered onto their shoes or, embroider the signature brogues in addition to selecting designs by Christian Louboutin with prices starting at around $8,000.
Louboutin was born and raised in Paris's 12th arrondissement. He was the only son of Roger, a cabinet-maker, and Irene, a homemaker, both French, from Brittany. He has three sisters. Louboutin said in a 2012 interview that he was "much darker-skinned than everyone else in his family. You know, I felt I wasn't French. My family was very French and so I decided they had probably adopted me. But instead of feeling it was terrible and that I was an outsider who had to go and find my real family, I invented my own history, full of characters from Egypt because I was very into the pharaohs." He incidentally discovered, following a revelation by one of his sisters in 2014 that his biological father was in fact an Egyptian, with whom his mother Irene had been having a secret affair.
In France, in first instance the trademark of Louboutin was held valid, but not infringed by Zara. The Court of Appeal however considered the French trademark invalid. The latter decision was upheld by the French Supreme Court in 2012.
In 2012, in The Netherlands, Louboutin initiated litigation, based also on the Benelux trademark, against shoe retailer Van Haren, seeking to stop it from selling the red soled shoe "5th Avenue by Halle Berry". The District Court of The Hague proposed in 2015 to ask preliminary questions to the European Court of Justice that it considered necessary in order to determine whether the trademark would be valid. In June 2018 the European Court of Justice ruled that a trademark of a colour to be placed on a sole could be valid. Based on this decision, the Court of The Hague decided the trademark was valid, and Van Haren was infringing.
In his first year of business, Louboutin sold 200 pairs of shoes. In 2012, he sold 700,000 a year and expected revenue to grow at an annual rate of 40 percent. In terms of market share, the United States accounts for 52 percent of Louboutin's sales; Europe, the Middle East and Russia, 30 percent; and Asia 18 percent. 95% of the firm's $300 million in annual revenue comes from shoes, with the remainder derived from purses and handbags. They expect the volume of handbags to eventually represent 20% of their annual sales.
In 2012, Louboutin partnered with Batallure Beauty LLC to launch Christian Louboutin Beauté to enter the luxury beauty market. Catherine Roggero is the New York-based general manager for Christian Louboutin, a venture between Christian Louboutin SAS and Batallure Beauty. Roggero "will be responsible for developing Louboutin's beauty business."
In 2012, he was commissioned by Disney to create a modern-day Cinderella-inspired pair of slippers limited to just 20 pieces, to complement release of the Cinderella: Diamond Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack in the fall. Louboutin also appears in a Disney-produced 10-minute short called The Magic of the Glass Slipper: A Cinderella Story, a bonus feature on the Cinderella Blu-ray DVD. He also partnered with Mattel that same year to create a limited edition "Louboutin Barbie". The first in the series was a cat burglar themed Barbie, which retailed for $150 and sold out the first day.
In 2013, Louboutin filed a trademark infringement claim of the Benelux trademark against Dr. Adams. The Court of First Instance of Brussels declared the trademark however invalid. That decision was overturned by the Brussels Court of Appeal, who forbade the sale of shoes with a red sole by Dr. Adams.
In 2013, Louboutin was celebrated at Toronto's Design Exchange with a comprehensive exhibit featuring themes of showgirls, fetish, construction and travel.
On 23 July 2014, Christian Louboutin Beauté launched a range of nail lacquers, exclusively debuting the signature red shade, Rouge Louboutin, at the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship in New York and its 15 US boutiques. In support of this launch, the high-end department store created Loubiville, a five-window visual merchandising display. The range was more widely distributed on 6 August 2014 to Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and select Sephora boutiques. The product is a logical brand extension, as an assistant's nail polish was the impetus for the shoes' red soles. Much like the shoes, the polish is receiving attention for its provocative shape, a long spiky cap, designed to resemble a calligrapher's brush or a spire.
In 2015, he expanded his foray into beauty with a lipstick collection. The tube was inspired by Babylonian architecture and Middle Eastern antiquities. As of 2017, he offers 38 tones, divided into three collections.
Louboutin entered the fragrance market in 2016 with the release of three parfums: Bikini Questa Sera, with jasmine and tuberose notes; Tornade Blonde, with rose and cassis notes; and Trouble in Heaven, with patchouli and amber notes. The bottles were designed by Thomas Heatherwick's studio, which was also responsible for designing the 2012 Olympic cauldron.
In 2017, the Mexican broadcaster Imagen Televisión criticized Louboutin for having bought handmade handbags from Mayans in Yucatán, Mexico for 238 Mexicans pesos (12.51 dollars) and resold them for 28,000 Mexican pesos (1470 dollars).
The Couture Council of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology will honor Louboutin with its 2019 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion in New York City on 4 September 2019.
In February, 2020 Christian Louboutin had an exhibition in Paris celebrating the 30th-anniversary of Christian Louboutin Ltd.
Currently, Christian Louboutin is 58 years, 9 months and 13 days old. Christian Louboutin will celebrate 59th birthday on a Friday 7th of January 2022.
Find out about Christian Louboutin birthday activities in timeline view here.