Christian Louboutin is known for creating bespoke footwear, and the infamous red sole. But he's been slowly making his foray into men's footwear with a lot of stylish pieces. The French designer sat down to talk about his new store opening. Below is an excerpt of an interview with the designer at GQ. Read the rest of it over at GQ.
You’ve designed for other entertainers on stage, women and men, aside from Mika. Is there a secret to designing a shoe meant for the stage versus one for daily life? Does it come down to materials that are reflective or shiny or does the silhouette change? It really depends on people, on the performer. Some performers are very sleek and so the design is going to be very simple, very straight lines, or either pointed really, I’d say in terms of line. Depending who is on stage it can be the shape as it really is or it can be an added element. It really depends on people.
When you decided to move ahead with the line of men’s shoes, did you find anything challenging about the transition? Were there issues you didn’t anticipate? Something quite challenging for me is that for the longest time guys, especially me being born and raised in Paris, we always have this idea that men just love shoes and a shoe should last forever. I have seen it many times lately that a lot of guys are not anymore in this attitude. It could be called metrosexual or whatever. But a lot of guys who are really into shoes are just like women who are really into shoes. Even if women adore shoes I haven’t really met any women yet that are proud to have shoes for twenty years. There is a whole new attitude to men – they’re pretty excited the way women are about shoes and it’s definitely not a gay attitude. I mean it does concern gay people as well, but it’s clearly not a specialty to gay people. A lot of guys have told me they now understand the excitement they saw their wives have for five years.
Technically speaking, what’s the biggest difference between designing for a man and for a woman? Obviously it’s different based on heel height, but are there details that are particular to designing a shoe for a man? Definitely, you know it’s a funny, it’s quite rare that when I’m designing shoes for men and then for women at the same time because…