New Exhibition 1 May – 9 JULY 2012 – Design Museum London
The Design Museum is mounting a retrospective exhibition exploring the creations of shoe designer Christian Louboutin.
Louboutin’s exquisite shoes, with their trademark glossy red soles, are a unique fusion of craftsmanship, engineering and sculpture. Since the launch of his label in 1991, the French designer has stayed true to his original aim – ‘to make shoes that are like jewels’. From razor-sharp stilettos to lace-up boots and studded sneakers, Christian Louboutin shoes evoke style and glamour and are highly sought after. This exhibition will be the first comprehensive presentation of Louboutin’s work in the UK. It will explore how, over the past twenty years, ChristianLouboutin has transformed the design of the shoe. In a dramatic exhibition environment, Louboutin’s creative approach will be profiled, together with the influences behind his work ranging from the Parisian music hall, travel, art, landscape architecture and film.
Louboutin helped bring the stiletto back into fashion in the 1990s and 2000s, designing dozens of styles with heel heights of 120mm (4.72 inches) and higher. The designer’s professed goal is to “make a woman look sexy, beautiful, to make her legs look as long as [he] can.” While he does offer some lower-heeled styles, Louboutin is generally associated with his dressier evening-wear designs incorporating jeweled straps, bows, feathers, patent leather and other similar decorative touches. In 2011, Christian Louboutin filed a trademark infringement of their red soled shoes against designer Yves Saint Laurent.Louboutin is expecting for the YSL shoe to be revoked and is seeking $1 million in damages.
Louboutin received inspiration for his stilettos from an incident that occurred in his early 20s. He had visited a museum and noticed that there was a sign forbidding women wearing sharp stilettos from entering for fear of damage to the extensive wood flooring. This image stayed in his mind, and he later used this idea in his designs. “I wanted to defy that,” Louboutin has said. “I wanted to create something that broke rules and made women feel confident and empowered.”