When We Met...Christian Louboutin

We chat all things red with Christian Louboutin

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When Christian Louboutin launched his inaugural nail polish - after two solid years personally perfecting it - he naturally invited the ELLE beauty team (to his beautiful house) to mull it over. What a day...

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So, Christian. Why now for beauty?

In a way my story started with a nail polish. It was my third collection in 1992, I got the first prototype of a new Mary Jane shoe. But looking at my initial drawing, there was something missing. I wanted bright, pop-art colour, but from certain angles the sole created this dark shadow. My assistant was there, so I grabbed her red nail polish, and painted the sole. So back then I took something from the beauty world, and now I am giving something back.

Is it true in the beginning you were thinking of changing the colour of the soles?

Yes, I thought it would be nice to have a different colour every season. Then I realised immediately when I did the red sole that it became so recognisable. I kept being told they were like a Hoover - they sucked in attention. A woman told me that her husband noticed her soles from across the street and they began their relationship talking about them. So I made her wedding shoes for her!

Do you think makeup is better used to amplify beauty rather than mask imperfections?

In my world I really like to enhance beauty. At school I was called a feminist. I could never understand how in the 70’s sophisticated women were looked down upon for wearing makeup. Why? No one could tell me why a woman should not look feminine in a classical way. So in the end I suppose I stayed true to that. I still haven’t found a reason why some one wanting to wear heels or makeup or enhance their beauty shouldn’t.

When you designed the nail polish did you have someone in mind?

I didn’t have a person in mind, When I think of a woman I think of the attitude and the posture as a whole. The way you talk with your hands, the language of the body, and the attitude of movements. In Thailand for instance they have gold nails for the dancers to add to the expression. So it’s culture and attitude more that inspired me.

The bottle design is incredible. it seems like you had no limits.

It’s an entirely new adventure and it’s something I’m dedicated to, but I had to do it myself. There is a French saying that ‘god is into detail’. It took years to get it right, but I did not want to add another unnecessary object to the world that had nothing to do with beauty. If I’m talking beauty, it has to be beautiful. It’s like the fashion industry. I always think, you have so many people who are presenting elegance but you don’t know how to behave, how come you can be rude but you are so into being so chic? It doesn’t click. Beauty is the same, I couldn’t speak about beauty unless I thought what I was doing was beautiful.

How did you get the right red?

I knew it had to look good on a lot of skins, so I got the entire office to try it, and it didn’t look odd on one person. Not even the man in my office who does the accounts. I made him wear it for a whole day. It looked great!

Rouge Louboutin is available from Louboutin Boutiques and Selfridges

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