There’s no name in the world of designer shoes that rings louder than Christian Louboutin. The visionary artist has accumulated a dramatic reputation in a remarkably short span of years, adding to and at times single-handedly redirecting the thrust of fashion footwear. Absolute Beirut picks his brains on style, Lebanese fashion and what we can look forward to next.
You have travelled the world, and have seen women from Hollywood stars to high society women… how would you describe the women of 2010?
The amazing thing about my travels is that I see women who all embody their own personal style that is influenced by their own customs and environment. A Russian client may find my Toundra boot or Lili PopPom perfectly suitable for a December day while my clients in the Middle East may prefer to wear the Loubout bootie or the Madame Butterfly shoe. The beauty of having women as clients is that they are so inspiring and have an individuality which makes them so enjoyable to dress.
I find Lebanese women beautiful because they have a very sophisticated sense of style. At the opening of the boutique in the Downtown Souks of Beirut, the women were so gracious and genuinely excited to meet me which was lovely. After spending a few days in the boutique meeting my clients, I know they are very fashion forward and really can dress for the four seasons, so we are going to work on stocking the store with a wide variety of styles and new styles continuously.
What is your impression of Lebanon in general?
Lebanon is a beautiful place and I have many friends here. I have been travelling here for years and even extended my recent trip. I have travelled into the mountains and been hosted by the most amazing and friendly people. I will definitely continue to travel here.
How did you decide to open a flagship store here?
The Beirut store is the largest in the Middle East and is actually the debut of a new concept we are executing in my boutiques. Pictures of my friends and I are up on the walls and my inspirations and personal life is shared with the clients. This is important for me as I meet so many of them, and they inspire me a great deal. The Lebanese client is very sophisticated and are great clients of mine in other parts of the world so I knew we would be well received here.
Why the expansion the Middle East now?
The expansion plans have been in place for a long time and it came time to execute them. The Middle East is a thriving place where the luxury market is still doing well.
The red soles are now a sign of my identity as a designer. The soles came to be red on all my shoes as I was once working in the design studio with one of my assistants. She was painting her nails a rich red and I took the brush from her and painted the sole of the prototype I was working on with the red. Everyone seemed to like it and from that point on, we used it on every shoe.
What are the trends to look out for this F/W 2011?
In my collection you’ll see lace, fur, studs, buckles, high high heels as well as the classic styles.