For Christian Louboutin, Paris is not just the city of his birth but the place that has fostered his career and passions. A simple bike ride around Paris can bring upon inspiration for an entire collection. So when Christian Louboutin teamed up with French luxury department store Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche, it made sense that the City of Lights would be at the heart of this special collaboration.
Launching on the store’s ground level, a pop-up boutique and exhibition transports visitors into the fantastical world of Christian Louboutin’s Paris. Walking along the iconic black-and-white tile floor of the Galerie Véro Dodat, home to the first Women’s, Men’s and Beauté boutiques, guests embark on a journey through the designer’s Parisian life, complete with a scooter - Christian Louboutin’s preferred mode of transportation around Paris, a custom Morris Column, and an interactive video gallery showcasing iconic designs from 1997 to present day.
This collaboration is unique in the brand’s history, and to celebrate it, Christian Louboutin has designed an exclusive capsule collection of limited-edition shoes, bags and accessories, which can be discovered only at Le Bon Marché.
With styles as diverse as the city they’re made for, the collection teases out the Parisian in all of us. For Women, the iconic Trash shoe, first introduced for Spring/Summer 1999 as kitten-heel mule, gets a boost with a platform, peep-toe body set atop a cone-shaped heel. Enclosed by a layer of PVC, the upper portion of each shoe offers a glimpse into what a day at Le Bon Marché looks like: from pieces of shopping bags and silk wrapping paper to ribbons and stickers. Evening shoes adorned with exquisite, hand-wrapped bows of gold eel leather, veau velours and satin demonstrate Christian Louboutin’s expert use of movement with unexpected materials, continuing his tried-and-tested quest to visually elongate a woman’s legs from the front, while enhancing her ability to leave a memorable hint of mystery and flirtation in her wake.
For Men, exclusive styles inspired by the City of Lights were created to complement the versatile lives of metropolitan men on the run. An exclusive alligator-skin pattern, laser cut onto suede, adds a dash of formality to sneakers and smoking slippers, while rugged lug-soled boots receive a hint of polish with a chain-metal trim. Christian Louboutin’s signature use of mixed materials and colours offer a twist to popular traditional styles.
Popular themes from the Autumn/Winter 2016 Collection make an appearance in a range of exclusive styles and products for both Women and Men – from shoes and bags to keychains and notebooks. The whimsical beads and paisley pattern of Candy are offered in exclusive colourways and add multiple pops of colour to a range of shoes and, for the first and only time, to an assortment of leather goods, including the popular Paloma handbag.
On September 23rd, ten street-level windows showcasing elements of Christian Louboutin’s Paris will be unveiled – flipping what was once only inside, out - a nod within itself to the designer’s signature mischievous wit and playful whimsy. As the guest of honor for the exhibition, Christian conceived an almanac that invites viewers to dive into his world through the windows. Staged over the months and seasons in Paris, all whilst showcasing his latest creations, a stroll down the street invites you into a fantastical world underscored by Ella Fitzgerald’s song "I love Paris in the Springtime.”
Head father down the street with Christian and read the kooky tabloid OMG Magazine, sit at the terrace of the Café Loubi then head to La Pagoda cinema or the Tuileries Garden and admire the trees adorned with leaves of red soles. Finish your trip at the Crazy Horse with leggy dancers that twirl and dip with bejeweled Paloma Candy bags. The story ends after Paris unfolds before our eyes, with Christian speeding away on his beloved Vespa through Galerié Vero Dodat
Each window comes to life through automats and paper pop-ups revealing facets of the creator’s multiple universes: beauty, leather goods and the collection of exclusive product created for Le Bon Marché.
Visit the Christian Louboutin pop up and exhibition on the Ground Floor and the windows of Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche, 24, rue de Sèvres, 75007 from 27 August – 29 October 2016.