Christian Louboutin took to the stage of the fourth annual Vogue Festival in London this morning. Hosted at the historic Royal Geographical Society, the intimate interview with British Vogue Editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman was attended by nearly 700 guests – many clad in the designer’s signature Red Soles.
Their hour-long conversation touched on various aspects of Louboutin’s life – both personal and professional. The designer joked that he grew up of “mixed background – French and French,” and discussed candidly how his mother’s interest in style and an early fascination with showgirls shaped his path to becoming one of the most loved and influential footwear designers in the world. A year spent assisting legendary designer Roger Vivier and a subsequent year working in one of Charles Jourdan’s factories in the South of France left him equipped and inspired to chart his own course, opening his first store in the heart of Paris’ 1st Arrondissement in 1991.
The now-iconic Red Sole came later, in 1993, and to the Vogue Festival audience, Louboutin described the inception of the idea as a “happy accident.”
“I originally thought to do a [different] coloured sole every season, but quickly red became a signature, and later a trademark,” he explained.
Given that the audience included many fashion students and aspiring professionals, Louboutin also shared his approach to business – one that is wholly independent, organic and driven by intuition. He admitted, “I’ve never had a ten or even a five-year plan,” and encouraged those in attendance to pursue their passion above all. “I have no problem working over the weekend, working late hours – because I love what I do,” the designer said.
Louboutin and Shulman also chatted about the first time they met, in the Christian Louboutin boutique on Jean-Jacques Rousseau in Paris, where the then newly-hired Shulman reminisced, “I had just gotten the job at British Vogue, so I must have been trying to look like a Vogue editor!”
For those who were unable to attend the Vogue Festival in person, the brand live tweeted and live-streamed elements of Christian Louboutin’s interview using mobile video application Periscope. Follow @LouboutinWorld on Periscope to replay the #LouboutinLive segments and to receive notifications of future live broadcasts.