Louboutin red sole. A ‘polished’ tale

Christian Louboutin and the legend of the red sole. What has inspired the French fashion designer to create a creative practice that, in short, has become his trademark and, in some ways, changed the history of the shoe? The most heard version says that in 1993, the renown designer, saw one of his assistants while applying carmine red nail polish. He borrowed a few drops of the nail varnish and he poured it onto the sole of one of his shoe designs. From there, the ‘myth’ of Laboutin’s red sole was born. A more “colourful” version of its origins can be found, instead, in the book published by Rizzoli to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the designer’s work. Here, Louboutin said that “the sketches for the collection Pensées (’93 -’94 Autumn / Winter) were in colour, but when I picked up the first shoe […] saw that he could not be more different from the drawing. Something was wrong and it took me some time to understand: it was the fault of the black sole. I snatched from the hands of my assistant a bottle of red nail polish and spilt onto the sole. Thanks to the colour, the model  took […] “. Today the Louboutin’s red is identical for each pair, the Pantone 186c, and it is protected by copyright.


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