Today's Popular Designer: Christian Louboutin!!!!

If the "up-and-coming young man" is a familiar figure in the world of fashion, few have soared as quickly - and to such heights - as Christian Louboutin. This footwear specialist's name is now mispronounced in virtually every language by the swarms of elegant women who, from Los Angeles to Paris, Singapore to Monte Carlo, make and destroy reputations. He has a boutique in Paris and another in New York, stacks of press articles and legions of imitators. It all started when, as a child, he paused in front of a sign at the Museum of Oceanic Art in Paris. It showed a stiletto heel crossed out by two thick lines, reminding women visitors not to scratch the wooden floor.

"What purpose could such a fine, sharp heel have other than to prove you could create the unreal from something real? I spent most of my school years reproducing it on my exercise books and desktops." Christian Louboutin went back to school, to learn all the basics at Charles Jourdan, Maud Frizon, Chanel, Saint Laurent. "I like women to see my shoes as objects of beauty, as gems outside the realm of fashion, with their own universe. Shoes are not an accessory; they're an attribute. With Louboutin's and a pair of jeans or an evening gown, you're dressed," says the designer, adding: "Women express themselves through their shoes" Christian Louboutin's clients have talent. When they come to him, they do not content themselves with a cup of coffee: they comment and advise, they admit what appeals to them, what feels comfortable to wear "My boutique is a luxury that maintains that link."

Christian Louboutin no longer has a universe: he has put everything into his shoes. He scribbles. If he dreams, he draws the dream. But this enfant terrible no longer wants to be seen as the wizard of the eccentric. "Today, I'm more preoccupied by the overall line than an eye-catching detail. I draw freely, and then reduce. And I evolve: certain models, like the sandal with the golden strap decorated with bows, are a synthesis of several shoes." Season after season, "the boy who drew shoes" became "the man with the gold leaf heels", "the man with the Guinness beer can heels", "the man with the shoes that say Love" (two letters per shoe) Today, "the incredible Mr.Louboutin" is the man with the red soles. "I wanted to break the dullness of black or beige soles. And present a 'finished' object. All my soles are red." A trademark which he hopes will, as usual, be imitated. His biggest fans include Nicole Kidman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Halle Berry, Salma Hayek, well who doesn't!


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