There’s been a lot of talk about Brigitte Trogneux, France’s first lady. But trust Christian Louboutin to tell it like it is. The outspoken Parisian cobbler held forth on Tuesday at an American Express customer event for high-heeled high-rollers. “Women adore her as she is now world’s most famous cougar,” he quipped of the 64-year-old wife of 39-year-old French president Emmanuel Macron. “I know her and she is also a very nice person so I’m super happy that France has the nicest first lady cougar.”
Known for his ‘grin and bear it’ stance on heels, does he have any more positive advice to avoid painful feet? Absolutely. “Never wear the same heel height; the muscles will keep working if you keep changing the height of your arch.” A good reason to buy more shoes then. Obviously.
But there’s also another option. Louboutin fans will know that the eponymous designer once worked as a gofer at Paris’ Folies Bergère. “The girls sent me out every day to buy veal carpaccio,” he recalled. “One day I asked them why they ate so much of it and they told me they were not eating it but putting it into the soles of their shoes as cushions.” Organic, yes. Good for vegetarians, not so much.
Le Bon Marché and LVMH’s 24Sevres.com e-commerce platform launches next month with something, like, 68 exclusive designer collaborations. The Saint-Germain department store has always been about securing exclusives, and here’s a little something dropping for fall. Adidas’ Stan Smiths are a Parisian girl’s off-duty staple, so this collaboration with Indian label Pero is the perfect way to stand out from the crowd.
U.S. based shoemaker George Esquivel is in town for the launch of his collaboration with French soccer team Paris Saint-Germain which debuted in Paris concept store Colette earlier this week. Over coffee this morning at the one of fashion’s favorite hangouts, Le Café Marly at The Louvre, he told me that the handmade boot (even the laces are cut on the bias in different colored squares and stitched together by hand) was “a tribute to Paris and its rich history of craftsmanship.”
“Rue Saint Honoré (where Colette is located) is where all the artisan manufacturing traditionally took place,” he explained, “because all the hotels frequented by wealthy guests were a street over on Rue de Rivoli.”
Esquivel chooses his collaborations wisely. “The best ones are where both parties will benefit mutually, otherwise there’s always one side that’s not happy in the end. I’m getting global exposure here for my brand and PSG is getting something special and unique!” He was also drawn to PSG’s approach to branding in that its collaborations (Levi’s, Sophnet, Maison Labiche and most recently IRO) have a reach far beyond the soccer fan.
It’s refreshing that French football doesn’t have the association with hooliganism that it does in the U.K. This side of the Channel you’re not likely to get beaten up for wearing a PSG x Iro shirt so if Colette is the go-to for exclusive designer collaborations, then PSG is the Colette equivalent of the soccer world.