The True Story Of How Christian Louboutin Shoes Got Those Trademark Red Soles
Christian Louboutin has been credited with making womens legs look longer, creating celebrity high heel frenzies, inspiring serious lust and temporary credit card insanity in fashion editors like me, and perhaps most importantly, turning the once-overlooked sole of a shoe into a bona fide status symbol. So just how did his highly coveted cherry red soles come to be?
This weeks New Yorker has a funny and very telling profile on the shoe designer, and nestled among the many incredible anecdotes is the story of how those red bottoms became his signature.
Back in 1993 when he had been in business for about two years, Louboutin had thought of making a shoe inspired by Andy Warhols Flowers. The prototype, a pink stacked heel with a cartoonish cloth blossom, had arrived from Italy. I was very happy, because it was similar to the drawing, Louboutin recalled, but the drawing still was stronger and I could not understand why. Louboutin continued, There was this big black sole, and then, thank God, there was this girl painting her nails at the time. Louboutin grabbed the nail polishit was redfrom the assistant and slathered it on the sole of the prototype. Then it popped, he recalled, and I thought, This is the drawing!’
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by Brianne Fleming | Oct 30, 2019 |
I Appreciate That Some Perceive Them But People Project Their Own Ideas On To A Designers Work Christian Louboutin
Another design here is his coquettish, high-heeled Corset dAmour boot of 2019, fashioned from black lace, satin and leather, inspired by the corseted, wasp-waisted figures of women in the 1890s. This section also includes a Louboutin-designed shoe worn in Yves Saint Laurents final couture show in 2002.
Actor and rap star Zendaya and model Bella Hadid are among the glamorous public figures who sport Louboutins
Yet another section sheds light on the labour-intensive craft of shoemaking. It exhibits tools and materials, and shows films explaining the many techniques involved. The penultimate section focuses on the almost mythical status of Louboutins as the designers shoes are known in popular culture. In 2009, J Lo wrote her song Louboutins in praise of them, and younger celebrities, including model Bella Hadid and actor and rap star Zendaya, clamour for them, giving them a cross-generational appeal.
The show concludes with Louboutin revisiting his 2007 collaboration with film-maker David Lynch, which examined the potential sexual fetishism of shoes via photographs of unwearable shoe-like forms, some with exaggeratedly high heels. These seem to nod to the Palace de la Porte Dorées sign vetoing high heels.
The designers work is known worldwide and Louboutins have taken on near-mythical status
Christian Louboutin, Exhibition is at the Palais de la Porte Dorée, Paris until 26 July 2020.
What Are Red Bottom Shoes
If you are a person alive on the internet, chances are that you have heard about the infamous red bottom shoes.
When someone calls shoes red bottoms they are simply referring to a pair of Christian Louboutin sneakers as they have an iconic red bottom.
These iconic shoes are a point of serious media focus ranging from being in famous musicals like Mean Girls on Broadway to getting attention for their unique design and expensive nature.
For many people, their first exposure was caused by the internet Bridezilla who demanded that every person in her wedding wear them alongside truly horrific outfits that were meant to cost thousands of dollars .
However, if you have only heard of them in passing or you are only now learning about this peculiar type of shoe now, you are probably wondering what red bottom shoes actually are.
In their simplest form, they are shoes with red bottoms, but the truth behind them is a little more complicated than that.
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Christian Louboutin: Red Soles High Heels And A Global Quest For Trademark Rights
On the tree-lined Avenue George V in Paris 8th Arrondissement, mere steps from the Seine and just across the street from where Cristóbal Balenciaga opened his own maison in 1937, Yves Saint Laurents team was in the midst of working on the brands Resort offerings in early April 2011 when a package arrived. The stack of documents was hand-delivered to the fashion house in Paris, as well as to its American headquarters on the heavily foot-trafficked 57th Street, nestled between Louis Vuitton and Chanels midtown outposts, and addressed to Yves Saint Laurent America, Inc. and its Paris-based entity, Yves Saint Laurent SAS.
Fifteen years prior, Christian Louboutin was on the receiving end of a delivery of its own. A carefully packaged prototype of a high heel shoe arrived from Italy to the workshop of the budding Parisian brand. The concept shoe, with its stacked heel and floral applique, was missing something. As the story goes, the designer, Mr. Christian Louboutin, reached for a bottle of red nail polish Thank God, there was this girl painting her nails at the time, he told the New Yorker and with that, the shoes sole went from a dull black to a striking red. Then it popped, and the foundation of a footwear revolution was born.
Inside that package addressed to Yves Saint Laurent was not a shoe it was a complaint. Christian Louboutin was suing the company for more than $1 million.
Beyond A Trend: Red Bottoms & Social Proof
Clearly red bottom shoes are a fashion statement, but it turns out there is a scientific reason that they are so popular.
Best-selling author and Wharton School Professor, Jonah Berger, talks about this at length in his book called Contagious: Why Things Catch On. The book does an incredible job explaining what makes things go viral and why certain products or ideas become popular. He dissects the science of social influence and shares something he calls the STEPPS framework. Each letter in the acronym breaks down a social influencer: Social Currency, Triggers, Emotion, Practical Value, Public, and Stories.
While I wish I had some time go over every element of the framework, lets discuss the one that applies to Christian Louboutin shoes: Public
Jonah Berger describes Public as follows: If something is built to show, its built to grow. The more public something is, the more likely people will imitate it. He says, Design products and initiatives that advertise themselves and create some visible behavioral residue.
He uses the popularity of red bottom shoes as the perfect example to convey Public. Christian Louboutin found a way to make his shoes more visible by adding his signature red color to the soles. This not only makes the shoes look more fashionable, but it makes them more memorable. And as Jonah Berger says, because of this feature, they end up advertising themselves.
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Which Shoes Have Red Bottoms
No. Louis Vuitton makes clothes, shoes, and traveling cases, In fact, founder Louis Vuitton worked for Napoleon III. Christian Louboutin is known for his signature redsoled shoes. Louboutin still designs footwear under his name.
Similarly, where are red bottom shoes made? Pay close attention to the lettering inscribed on the red sole. An authentic Christian Louboutin will clearly have Christian Louboutin,Made in Italy, and the European size located on it. Many times the fake shoes will have the word MadeInItaly as one word with no spaces.
Thereof, is Louis Vuitton and Louboutin the same thing?
Though both the brands have footwear and bags, Louboutin is famous for its high-heel footwear and Louis Vuitton is known for its classic bags. Though Louis Vuitton has ventured into footwear, they have concentrated more on bags, handbags, and accessories. Louboutin has its birth in France in 1964.
Do all Louboutins have red bottoms?
Christian Louboutin shoes have a distinct signature red sole. Louboutin soles have red soles that are made of leather and NOT plastic and therefore should look glossy, like nail lacquer. The L in Louboutin must almost touch the rest of the word. However, most replicas have a noticeable space in between.
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Why Louboutin Shoes Are So Expensive
- Christian Louboutin’s trademark red-bottomed shoes have become iconic. Beyoncé wore a custom pair of boots for her Coachella performance, and Cardi B slipped on a pair of “bloody shoes” for her “Bodak Yellow” music video.
- But why do these heels cost hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars?
- Besides production costs and the use of pricey materials, Louboutins are the ultimate status symbol.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Narrator: What makes these shoes worth almost $800? Christian Louboutin is the mastermind behind these iconic red-bottomed shoes. It’s safe to say his footwear has stepped into the mainstream. Celebrities all over the world wear them.
“You know the ones with the high heels and the red bottoms?”
Song lyrics:“These expensive. / These is red bottoms. / These is bloody shoes.”
Narrator: Louboutin even had the red bottoms trademarked. The signature Louboutin pumps start at $695, the most expensive pair nearly $6,000. So how did this craze start?
Christian Louboutin had the idea for red soles in 1993. An employee was painting her nails red. Louboutin snagged the bottle and painted the soles of a prototype shoe. Just like that, the red soles were born.
So, what makes these shoes worth the cost?
In 2013, when The New York Times asked Louboutin why his shoes were so expensive, he blamed production costs. Louboutin said, “It’s expensive to make shoes in Europe.”
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The Famous Christian Louboutin Red Sole
Without a doubt, the easiest way to tell is the red sole. The Louboutin red bottoms should be vibrant red, shiny leather, with a slight curve to the edges. Furthermore, it shouldnt be plastic, resin or flat. When worn, it will look like scruffed-up leather.
New Christian Louboutin shoes come with the leather sole. However, many people opt to get a rubber sole overlay to give grip. The vast majority of shoe repairers use Topy leather which has the Topy logo stamped across it. Christian Louboutins repairer in France, Minuit Moins 7 uses a Christian Louboutin stamped red rubber overlay sole.
At Baxter & Black, we use an Italian-made shiny red sole to match the rest of the shoe exactly. We use the same process as Louboutins repairer in France, Minuit Moins 7. The process involves lightly sanding down the original sole, before glueing the rubber overlay sole ontop. The edges are gently aligned with the original sole. Finally, the sole edges are touched up with matching paint. Our process has a much sleeker and thinner profile than using the Topy rubber overlay.
Why Do Louboutins Have Red Soles
August 17, 2013, erwin,
Louboutins are designer shoes that are made famous by the footwear designer who bears the same name. Louboutins or Louboutin shoes are also known to have red soles or red bottoms and this color-based design has become a trademark of Christian Louboutin, the shoe designer. The red soles of Louboutin shoes have become so famous and synonymous with the brand that Christian Louboutin has actually obtained an official trademark for the design in the US. The red soles in Louboutins have evolved from being famous and trendy to an official design trademark from the shoe designer.
Louboutin shoes have become popular because of many celebrities and superstars that wear them. Starting in the 1990s, Louboutins have become synonymous with high-heeled shoes or stilettos as many fashion experts call them. All these stilettos are designed to make the legs look longer and sexier. The shoe designs are also accented with a red-china bottom that makes the shoes stand out and exude even more sexiness. Whenever people see Hollywood stars and A-listers wear stilettos with a red bottom, people would always think of them as Louboutin shoes. Stilettos in red soles have become an instantly recognizable brand of designer shoes. With its wide popularity, Christian Louboutin has eventually obtained a design trademark for his red soles back in 2008.
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Designer Christian Louboutin Goes To Court To Protect His Precious Red Soles
French fashion designer Christian Louboutin is known worldwide for shoes with an eye-catching, red lacquer sole shoes that typically sell for $500 and up. When a well-heeled celebrity or socialite reveals that quick flash of red from the bottom of her sexy stilettos, its powerful publicity for the respected fashion house. You might remember when Khloé Kardashian recently showed off her baby bump while wearing a pair of Louboutin pumps.
But the latest news involving the fashion designer has far less to do with who is wearing his shoes and more to do with what makes his brand stand out namely, those crimson soles. Louboutin once said, The shiny red color of the soles has no function other than to identify to the public that they are mine. I selected the color because it is engaging, flirtatious, memorable, and the color of passion.
It seems that other fashion retailers are trying to capitalize on Louboutins red signature, which is why he asked the European Court of Justice to stop Dutch chain Van Haren from selling shoes with a similar red sole, arguing that he had trademark protection registered in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg for that particular shade of red. But the court in February disagreed, saying a trademark combining color and shape may be refused or declared invalid on the grounds set out under EU trademark law. In other words, the color alone was not enough to protect Louboutin from knockoffs.
Counterfeiting and Profit Loss
The Christian Louboutin Shoe Bag
The red Christian Louboutin shoe bag should be high-quality felt with a crisp black logo and the word Paris on the bottom right. In this case, the logo doesnt necessarily have to be centred. Check the type is the correct shape compared to the logo. It will have a black drawstring at the top.
There are two different sizes of red Christian Louboutin shoe bags. The larger size is usually used for mens shoes, while the smaller is for ladies shoes.
Christian Louboutin also has white felt shoe bags. The first white shoe bag has a white silk lining, with red print and red drawstring. They are used for speciality or delicate shoes such as strappy or spiked heels. There is also a white shoe bag without silk lining, with red print and red drawstring. These are used for mens shoes.
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The Case Was Not Over
Let off the hook, so to speak, because its shoes namely, its Tribute, Tribute, Tribtoo, Palais, and Woodstock styles consist of an all-over red body complete with a red sole, YSLs counsel, prominent New York-based litigator David Bernstein of Debevoise & Plimpton, claimed victory, as well, telling the press, The Court has conclusively ruled that YSLs monochromatic red shoes do not infringe any trademark rights of Louboutin, which guarantees that YSL can continue to make monochromatic shoes in a wide variety of colors, including red.
The case was not over, though. Still up for debate as of January 2013 was the actual language of the trademark registration for Louboutins red sole, as in limiting of the breadth of Louboutins trademark rights from the sweeping lacquered red sole on footwear to a red sole on a contrasting colored shoe, the Second Circuit ordered that the USPTO modify the language of Louboutins trademark registration.
Ultimately, the language would be determined to read as follows: a red lacquered outsole on footwear that contrasts with the color of the adjoining portion of the shoe.
On one hand, the validity of the famed footwear brands trademark has been upheld by a series of important decisions, including ones from the Paris Court of Appeal, the Court of Justice for the European Union, the Hanseatic Court of Appeals in Germany, the Beijing High Court, and the European Union Intellectual Property Office, among others.
Louboutin Wins Legal Battle Over Red Soles
Europes highest court has backed Christian Louboutin in its battle to protect its distinctive red soles.
In 2012, Louboutin sued rival firm Van Haren for selling high heeled shoes with scarlet soles.
Under EU law companies cannot trademark common shapes of products such as the soles of shoes.
Van Haren argued that applying red to a shoe sole came under that law and, as a result, Louboutin did not have trademark protection.
However, the European Court of Justice said that shape trademarks do not apply to Louboutins red sole.
Christian Louboutin first designed his trademark shoe in 1993, using an assistants red nail polish.
The luxury brand said it warmly welcomes the judgement.
For 26 years, the red sole has enabled the public to attribute the origin of the shoe to its creator, Christian Louboutin, the brand said in a statement.
This case will now be referred back to The Hague Court which is expected to confirm the validity of the red sole trademark.
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Michael Earle Takes Us Inside The Curious World Of Designer Christian Louboutin And His Famous Red Soled Shoes
According to a story that appeared in the Telegraph UK Newspaper, Italian research has apparently shown that a good pair of heels can help tone the body, condition muscles and improve the wearers sex life by working out the pelvic muscles. While this is clearly a questionable finding, assuming there is some truth in there somewhere, Christian Louboutin Shoes, known around the world for their trademarked red lacquered heels, might just do the self improvement trick.
The shoes have been worn by famous women such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Oprah Winfrey, Carla Bruni, Nicole Kidman, Catherine Deneuve, Kirsten Dunst, Tina Turner and Angelina Jolie just to name a few. The designer himself, Christian Louboutin, has been quoted as saying that he designs shoes, and specifically the heels, to be a perfect blend of beauty and sex appeal, high enough that they slow women down and give them a sexier gait.
Louboutin left home at the age of 12, with his parents believing he had the wherewithal to survive on his own. He would still regularly visit them for lunch but began his not-quite-adult life by pursuing his love of shoes. As a young schoolboy, he had passed the Museum of African and Oceanic Art and seen a sign with a spiky heeled shoe crossed out, prohibited from being worn inside, as the shoes might damage the floors.
This article originally appeared in Signature Luxury Travel & Style magazine. To subscribe to the latest issue, .