Christian Louboutin

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About Christian Louboutin

Category: Fashion
Established: 1991

Christian Louboutin, born on January 7, 19641 in Paris, is a creative French of shoes and handbags of luxury.

Coming from the Palace generation of the 1980s, when, still a minor, he rubbed shoulders with those who are or will become personalities of culture, fashion, music or the media, these were above all his first experiences with Charles footwear Jourdan and Roger Vivier who will transform his interest in women's shoes in the trade; at the age of 27, he founded the brand that bears his name. Today, with more than a hundred outlets with his name in the world, and omnipresence of his creations in the fashion-related media, Christian Louboutin is internationally known for his shoes with the red sole.


Christian Louboutin was born at the Salpêtrière Hospital to Breton's parents: his father was a cabinetmaker and his housewife mother took care of the four children. The three girls are 16, 14 and 12 years older than the youngest Christian. In an interview he gave to Gala magazine in April 2017, Christian Louboutin looks back at his origins and declares that his sister taught him, at the age of 53, the truth about his father: “around 9 years old, I thought I was an adopted child because I was much darker than my sisters, blondes with blue eyes. My real father is Egyptian. I am the son of my mother's lover. "He is an Egyptian Copt named Samir. Roofer, he went through the roof and disappeared through the window. Her sister was 14 at the time, she understood but she said nothing.

The young Métis, aged about twelve, a lover of theaters whom he frequented for free after the intermission, attended many second parts of shows. He begins to draw shoes. The vision at the Museum of African and Oceanic Arts of a sign prohibiting the wearing of stilettos that could scratch the floor 7 becomes the “founder ” element of his future career; he begins to draw and redraw this shoe seen on panel 8. Later, the artist will recognize that it was his adoptive father, a cabinetmaker by profession, who gave him a taste for details: “In my work, I realize today the importance and influence of my father. He taught me to look at objects. "

A good student up to ten years old, he later gave up his studies at the Lycée Paul-Valéry, went to India. He wants to do a drawing school, which will be unsuccessful: quarter after quarter, the number of his absences increases.

Christian Louboutin makes his first prototype shoe in mackerel skin. He invented an internship at the Folies Bergère, an establishment he had attended at a younger age with his parents: living off help and odd jobs, he tried to sell his creations to the dancers whom he “adored” and specified have learned their trade there. "Enough milk soup", as he defines himself, he leaves the Folies Bergère on a whim. La Main Bleue in Montreuil, Le Sept, then Le Palace then occupied its nights for a few years. Minor protected from Fabrice Emaer, he entered the Palace thanks to Paquita Paquin: later, he would say that he showed himself there as an "actor". There he rubs shoulders with, among others, Helmut Berger 2 or Thierry Ardisson for example, but especially Farida Khelfa, who lived with him at his parents, Eva Ionesco, Vincent Darré, Arielle Dombasle, the Putman family,  etc. He appeared at the same time in the film La Nuit garter belt, with some of his Palace accomplices.

Christian Louboutin then browses the Directory, calls several fashion houses and, in 1982, after the first closure of the Palace, on the initiative of Hélène de Mortemart, who works at Dior N 7 and to whom he presents his designs, he leaves Paris for Romans-sur-Isère, "French capital of shoes". There he did a 13 internship with Charles Jourdan, the inventor of the N 9 stiletto heel, for a year. The internship went wrong: Parisian "spoiled" and "wacky" as he himself says, protected from the Dior company and, therefore, "boosted", It is not accepted at the Jourdan factory, which, moreover, very rarely employed trainees. Despite everything, he learned the technique of creation and the trade-off model makers. Subsequently, he worked for several years in freelance for big names in fashion like Hervé Léger, Chanel, or Maud Frizon  (in) in Italy. He alternates his professional activities with stays in India. Then, Christian Louboutin joined Roger Vivier 15, then 80 years old.

“In 1988, I became his personal assistant to orchestrate his exhibition at the Museum of Fashion Arts. He became my mentor. He represented the embodiment of the elegant and distinguished Parisian, courteous […]. For six months, by his side, I put my creation in brackets. " At the end of his mission with Roger Vivier, Christian Louboutin abandoned the field of shoes to become a landscaper N 11 and an amateur consultant for his friends who owned gardens or terraces: " Through the garden, I had a look on colors, mixtures of materials, on gloss and dullness ratios b 11  ». This activity is an integral part of his life, whether through his links with designer Olivia Putman or landscaper Louis Benech.


At the end of 1991, he launched the brand that bears his name with his two partners and childhood friends, Henri Seydoux N 12 and Bruno Chambelland. He already has thousands of sketches, he finds a factory for manufacturing. Opens its first shop in the 1 st district, Jean-Jacques Rousseau street November 21, 1991, in a room he found some time before by chance b 12. Two other stores will be opened in Paris in the following years. Caroline de Monaco comes into the store sometime after opening; a reporter from, also present, wrote a few words about the shoemaker in the columns of the American fashion magazine. Sometime later, following her quick tour of the store, Anna Wintour had two articles published in the American edition of Vogue magazine; after a difficult start, selling few shoes, success is finally there: buyers of prestigious American brands rush to Paris 14. Louboutin opened its first store in New York two years later, followed by a second store a few years later.

A shoe from 1994 created by Christian Louboutin, exhibited at the Bata Shoe Museum.

From 1995 and during the following years, he was the shoemaker of fashion shows by designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Azzaro, Diane von Fürstenberg, Givenchy, Lanvin, Roland Mouret, Alexandre Vauthier, or even the house of Chloé. Among these numerous parades, that of January 2002, with the haute couture house Yves Saint Laurent for the “farewells” of the couturier, at the Center Georges-Pompidou sees the creation of the ephemeral brand “Christian Louboutin for Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture 1962- 2002 » No. 13. He launched a collection of handbags.

He collaborates with David Lynch for the exhibition "Fetish" at Galerie du Passage - Pierre Passebon 20 where photographs and pairs of shoes are exhibited in a single copy; the exhibits (including "ballet shoes" ) are an artist's impression and are not intended to be worn. The official website was created in 2009. In September of the same year, Christian Louboutin, associated with bootmaker Fred Rolland, opened a shoe repair shop, under the sign Minuit minus, gallery Véro-Donat in Paris. A web series of seven episodes 22 entitled Black Coach is produced by the shoe designer; we see there appear among others Arielle Dombasle, Dita von Teese, Elisa Sednaoui her goddaughter, Farida Khelfa, as well as Mika. During the second half of 2011, Christian Louboutin opened the Véro-Dodat gallery opposite his first boutique, his shoe store, but the first exclusively for men. There are sneakers, moccasins, or more rarely classic models, always with the red sole that makes it famous. For over a decade, the brand has already had many famous customers, such as Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, her friend Dita von Teese 27 or Blake Lively, Uma Thurman, Christina Aguilera, or Mika.

In 2011, his advertising campaign focused on pastiches of works of art, such as La Madeleine à la veilleuse by Georges de La Tour, was produced by photographer Peter Lippmann.

More recently, the creator called on London's Global Street Art Agency collective to advertise through a street artwork visible in the streets of Shoreditch in London.

A retrospective will be devoted to him in Paris from February 2020 at the Palais de la Porte-Dorée paying tribute to his work, which is said to include more than 15,000 shoes.


The brand's distribution network is very selective, focusing mainly on boutiques, around fifty for 2011, under its own name: four in Paris and in a few large European cities, but also in Moscow, for example, with three stores also at the end of 2011, or Beijing. In the United States, where the brand is one of the “most expensive shoe stores” 64 , Christian Louboutin has more than a dozen outlets, including marketing in department stores such as Saks or Neiman Marcus . In this country, sales for 2010 are 240,000 pairs for a turnover$ 135 million; in the world, sales exceeded 300,000 pairs of shoes in 2009 48 to reach 600 66 to 700,000 pairs in 2011, while at the start of its activity, Christian Louboutin saw only a few hundred pairs sold. If Europe sees the opening of the online sales site in April 2012, the United States and Canada are the precursors of the only official online sales site, launched before. Many counterfeits , often of Asian origin, are distributed around the world, via websites 68not hesitating to reproduce the brand logo and official photographs on their pages in order to deceive buyers. The products thus sold are bad copies often far from the original. The fight against this counterfeiting, whatever its form 69 , has become an important issue for the N 28 brand .

The brand includes three 24 seats  :

Paris, which takes care of the distribution for Europe, Asia, and India,

London, which manages international communication,

New York, which distributes to the Americas market.

Latest Magazine

Posted on 01 April 2019
The new model of sandal for men imagined by the Christian Louboutin House is not unanimous. Focus on a shoe that divides. A Luxury version of...




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