The world-renowned shoe designer behind the red-lacquered sole—Christian Louboutin—is coming to Toronto. A retrospective launching at the city’s Design Exchange will play host to 250-plus shoes, sketches, and personal artifacts belonging to the stiletto saviour. The exhibit runs from June 21 to September 15, and Christian Louboutin speaks about it here.
Real Style: Why have an exhibition?
Christian Louboutin: Initially, this was created to celebrate the 20th anniversary of my company at London’s Design Museum. I hoped to show visitors the process from inspiration, to design, to finished product, and focus attention on the extraordinary lengths it takes in terms of craftsmanship to create even a simple pair of shoes.
Real Style: How did you decide which styles you wanted to feature?
Christian Louboutin: It was a process which needed to happen over a period of time so that the exhibition was not the product of just one morning’s mood, but instead over a few weeks. It represented not a specific moment but the whole spectrum of 20 years, and one that took place with my whole Paris team around me to ensure this.
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Real Style: There are theatrical elements in the exhibition, such as a hologram show featuring Dita Von Teese. What is the significance?
Christian Louboutin: I adore watching performers on stage and believe it would be very sad indeed to imagine a day when people would not appreciate an inspiring performance.
Real Style: An influence on your designs from early days to current collections is the showgirl. Can you explain your fascination?
Christian Louboutin: My first love was showgirls in cabaret and musicals. As a child as I was considering these types of women as exotic birds, I had not considered that they were wearing costumes. To me they were like birds that always have their feathers. So the only element I would see that was man made was the shoes, as the garments felt so natural to me. So I decided to focus on the only piece I considered man-made, the shoes.
Related: Interview With Dita von Teese
Real Style: You name travel as one of your greatest pleasures and source of inspirations. Have you visited Canada before?
Christian Louboutin: I did visit once before, at the best moment. It was in the middle of an Indian summer and I remember driving along a very long road at sunset—one of the best drives I have ever had.
- Heidi Hofstad