What’s better than a good pair of Louboutin shoes? Probably two pairs of Louboutins! Christian Louboutin’s signature items are hotter than ever before, and many shoe addicts, it-girls, and fashion lovers invest in them without feeling guilty. But why are so many people obsessed with Louboutin’s red soles?
Not that Christian Louboutin has ever had trouble selling his shoes like hotcakes; it is just that with the recent fashion trends being all about the Nineties/ early ‘00s aesthetics, Louboutin’s shoes are all the rage now. Although French designer Christian Louboutin began sketching shoes in his early teens (during the Seventies), and started his official fashion career in the early Eighties as a shoe designer for fashion houses Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent, it was in the early Nineties when he decided to set up his company, which gained its ultimate worldwide fame in the early ‘00s.
Getting a pair of Louboutin shoes means investing in one of history’s most iconic fashion eras, as its aesthetics is perfectly encapsulated in all of Christian Louboutin’s red-sole creations.
Today, we’ll delve into the fantasy world of Louboutin shoes, studying the brand’s history, and learning tips for buying and caring for our Louboutins. As an added bonus, we bring you 15 pairs of iconic Louboutin shoes that are simply to die for and that you certainly deserve to own!
Christian Louboutin Shoes for Women: Contents
Building a fashion empire with artistically fancy and iconic high heels is no small feat for sure, but young Christian Louboutin (who even neglected his academic studies to sketch shoes) was determined to hit it big.
Punk rock at heart (he even played a few roles in films during the late Seventies), Christian Louboutin has always followed his own rules. That’s probably why, when he quit his job as a landscape gardener and a contributor to Vogue to open his own company, things turned out great (he is probably the living proof that we should all follow our instincts and never give up on our dreams).
Having designed shoes as a freelance designer during the Seventies, and thus being one of the rising names in the fashion world already, Christian Louboutin knew he had to come up with something unique that could bless his creations with a special feature anyone could recognize. His aha moment came in 1993, when his “assistant was sitting there, painting her nails red,” as he told Footwear News. “I took one look and decided to color my soles red as a statement for the season. I thought, ‘Oh my god! Red soles are so flirtatious,’ and my customers asked me not to stop.”
Among those customers were influential personalities Princess Caroline of Monaco, Madonna, and Christina Aguilera, and this surely gave him enough validation to become an international high-end phenomenon.
Christian Louboutin’s ultimate fashion endorsement came with Sex and the City 2, and more specifically when protagonist Carrie Bradshaw decided to wear Louboutins throughout the film, starting with a pair of gold pumps.
Much praised by everyone, from Princess Caroline of Monaco to Sarah Jessica Parker, pumps have always been the French designer’s trademarks. Pointy-toe and with stiletto heels, a pair of Louboutin pumps is an all-time must-have footwear item, with their structures and red soles having been copied by many brands and DIYers in the past decades (even by above suspicion luxury designers). Christian Louboutin has (and still does) worked hard to protect his one-of-a-kind designs from counterfeiters, and his red sole is now protected as a trademark in several countries.
Not only high heels, though! Louboutin’s first shoes were a pair of flat pumps inspired by 1992 Taj Mahal photo of Princess Diana, and his current lines feature everything from boots to mules to even sneakers.
After exploring the reasons behind Louboutin’s exclusivity, we can take a journey through all the tips for buying a pair of authentic Louboutins (since the counterfeiters are so many, and the vintage markets are filled with alleged Louboutins, one needs to take extra measures to make sure those pumps are real).
First things first, if you are a fledgling fashionista willing to pay any amount for such iconic pieces of art (and, above all, love online shopping), make sure you are buying your Louboutins from an accredited retailer, whether it is an e-commerce website such as Net-a-Porter, a brick-and-mortar store such as Nordstrom, or an official flagship store (you can find them at christianlouboutin.com).
This might sound like a banal piece of advice, but since Louboutins don’t come with an authenticity card, first-time Louboutin buyers may get tricked by replicas, which feature authenticity cards (which is understandable, as other fashion houses, such as Jimmy Choo, do provide cards to thank the clients).
However, since (good!) Louboutin replicas are all over the market, and many of you (and us) often get lost in our favorite vintage markets, here’s how to spot fake Louboutin shoes when buying them not from the label’s official stores:
• If you have preserved the shoebox, look for the word “Paris.” It must appear near the edge of the box’s right side, and not in any other places.
• All Louboutins come with a red-colored dust bag with the signature “Christian Louboutin” logo embedded on the front.
• All red soles come in the European shoe size system (so no 3, 4, or 5, only 36, 37, 38, etc.), and with a “Made in Italy” caption written in capital letters. When (and if) he decides to stop manufacturing his shoes in Italy, we are sure he’ll let us know.
Since copycats are really unstoppable when it comes to the world’s most renowned red soles, at christianlouboutin.com there’s the Stopfake page, which you can use to contact the brand at any time to see whether you are eligible for the long authentication process. Just bear in mind that at Louboutin’s headquarters they are unable to authenticate shoes purchased through private vendors or online auction websites.
Since any pair of Louboutin shoes is a fashion statement (which I will unapologetically define as a piece of art), taking care of them is mandatory. Caring for Louboutins, fortunately, only requires a few steps, which we recommend following religiously.
• If you got a pair of Louboutin stilettos, make sure to protect those heels at all costs (sorry for being that tragic). You can do so by storing your shoes in the Christian Louboutin dust bag provided, filling it with extra cotton cloths if needed.
• Store your Louboutins away from light and, especially, from heat.
• Keep an eye on the weather. Since the red sole will wear off with use (it is not permanent, as any other material), protect the shoes by avoiding wearing them when it is pouring rain, snowing or you are about to walk a million miles on a dirty, gravel road.
• If it was sunny but then suddenly began raining, as soon as you come back home remember to clean your Louboutins with baby wipes.
• Never ever wear your Louboutin heels down to the internal metal. Visit your local cobbler to put on new heel tips whenever you feel the internal metal is about to pop out.
If you feel your Louboutins are suffering too much from the usual wear and tear, and that your local cobbler can’t do much (especially with the red sole), you can look for the closest leather specialists recommended at christianlouboutin.com (there are many, whether you live in the States or Europe).
Are there shoes other than pumps at Louboutin stores? Which pair suits me the most? What are the best Louboutin shoes to invest in?
Choosing the right pair of Louboutins is probably the hardest thing to do, since any type of Louboutin footwear item can elevate the outfits to their fullest, adding the fierce touches of elegance and edginess we all deserve. The secret is to analyze in what ways and on what occasions you’ll likely wear them, always listening to your heart and instinct when in doubt.
To make things easier, we present the most iconic Louboutin shoes of all time, the structures, designs, and detailing of which are meant to satisfy any taste!
1. Christian Louboutin Pigalle Pumps
Let’s start off with the classics! Louboutin’s Pigalle pumps are a steady part of our fashion imagination, and investing in a good shoe collection means (at least) thinking about getting a pair of Pigalle. Sophisticated yet utterly sexy, Louboutin’s Pigalle pumps are meant to be worn with everything, from a long evening gown to a pair of skinny jeans. Get your Pigalle Louboutins from Net-a-Porter now!
2. Christian Louboutin Copte Flats
Hard to find, harder to forget, Louboutin’s Copte flats are the colored footwear answer to our summer dreams. We highly recommend them if your list of summer events includes beach weddings and/ or fancy beach parties, as they look casual and utterly chic at the same time.
3. Christian Louboutin ‘So Kate’ Pointy Toe Pump
Form one classic to another! Those who are not familiar with Louboutin shoes instantly (and probably unconsciously) recall two specific pairs of pumps, i.e. the Pigalle and the ‘So Kate’. The latter appears to be more casual and particularly recommended for women who are always on the go, but that doesn’t mean they are boring!
Louboutin’s ‘So Kate’ comes in a plethora of colors and patterns, including the cheetah ones, and could easily fit any personality. If you are a Louboutin newbie, we recommend checking them first (Carrie Bradshaw approves). They are available through Net-a-Porter, too.
4. Christian Louboutin Body Strass
Christian Louboutin’s Body Strass stilettos are the hottest items of all time, as they not only feature the designer’s trademark figure, but also a see-through “body” covered with strass. Extremely sensual yet fun at the same time, this pair of Louboutin shoes is destined to draw all the attention. You might not end up wearing them that often, but those few times will be worth the investment. Our tips? Dare to wear them with tracksuit pants! You can pick your Louboutins from Bergdorf Goodman.
5. Christian Louboutin Bandy Stilettos
Multicolored and high-end in their design, Christian Louboutin’s Bandy stilettos are a win-win footwear option whether you are looking for your first pair of iconic Louboutin shoes, or for an extravagant yet elegant pair to add to your collection. For a more modern appeal, try wearing them with lace socks!
6. Christian Louboutin Jennifer Boots
Ok, these are probably not everyone’s cup of tea but are undeniably iconic. If your wardrobe screams “crazy haute couture styles”, and you are not afraid to go wild with fashion, Louboutin’s Jennifer boots are your soulmate shoes.
7. Christian Louboutin Follies Spikes Heels
Christian Louboutin’s Follies heels are a standard design at the label, and come in a variety of forms (even flats!). Although the classic high-heeled one is the most coveted, we suggest daring more with a spiked one, as it combines the early ‘00s pointy aesthetics, with the late ‘10s love for the punk-rock accents. If you own one or more vinyl skirts, these pair of Louboutin stilettos might be the best choice for you! Get them from Saks Fifth Avenue!
8. Christian Louboutin ‘So Pretty’ Pumps
Pointy-toe, refined with extravagant detailing, and proudly sensual in its structure, Louboutin’s ‘So Pretty’ stiletto heels sell out so quickly, it is often difficult to catch them. They epitomize Christian Louboutin’s past legacy and current aesthetics at the same time and will look good with any kind of outfit. Since they are so whimsical on their own, we recommend them especially if your style is elegantly casual and minimalist, and you’ll love to get that right amount of fanciness to turn heads!
9. Christian Louboutin Otrot Heels
This pair of Louboutin heels is the living proof shoes can personify happiness, indeed, as both their colors and fringed detailing exude joie de vivre and lightheartedness. We recommend the Otrot heels if your personality happens to be extremely outgoing and you don’t love being the center of the attention at all times, as they’ll soon get the spotlight!
10. Christian Louboutin Beltega Sandals
Here’s the pair of iconic Louboutin shoes anyone who loves the early/ late 2006-2008 aesthetics should get! Refined with color-block motives and, above all, with belt embellishments (is there anything more 2006-approved than belts, really?), the Beltega sandals are a fashion dream come true.
11. Christian Louboutin Pensamoi Heels
This is one of Louboutin’s cutest designs ever. Perfect for wearing to ceremonies and formal occasions, the Pensamoi heels are the lovely “flowers” to get as a gift! These are iconic Louboutin shoes made for the most feminine out there, as well as for those who want to add a Cinderella accent to their tougher looks.
12. Christian Louboutin Bianca in Patent Leather Pumps
Louboutin’s Bianca pumps are another great essential in any shoe collection, as their patent leather finish and harmonious figure, with the round toes and 1.5-inch platform make them the appreciated alternative to the classic pointy-toe structure. They come in red, black, and nude, with the latter being one of the most beloved (and used) by many it-girls all around the world.
13. Christian Louboutin BeautyK Sandal Booty
Completed with a 4-inch heel, this peculiar pair of Louboutin sandals is perfect for the woman who’s always on the go and loves to finish off her outfits with something unique and unforgettable. Despite their structure, they are often regarded as ultra-cozy, and we particularly recommend them if you already own a pair of classic Louboutin shoes and would love to try something new (and maybe even out of your comfort zone).
14. Christian Louboutin Highness Pumps
Called “Highness Pumps” for clear reasons (first and foremost, for their 6-inch heels and 2-inch platform), this pair of Louboutins is not for the faint of heart, for sure. You might not end up wearing them that often, but girl, you’ll feel like a queen when flaunting them!
15. Christian Louboutin Canassone Botta Boots
Last but not least, here’s a pair of Louboutin boots that could make anyone feel special! Detailed with buckles, a 4-inch heel and a 2-inch front platform, Louboutin’s Canassone Botta boots are the best investment for all those people who can’t help but love classic boots, which cyclically come back on track during most fashion shows.
Photos via @bartabacmode, @alexandralapp_, @sazan, Christian Louboutin