Bhutan was the latest stop on Christian Louboutin’s peripatetic shoe journey, where the designer worked with local artisans from the country’s National Institute of Zorig Chusum to create a capsule of 13 hand made shoes for his new couture collection.
The 13 styles pay homage to the 13 recognized artisanal techniques that are held sacred in Bhutanese culture, including the hand carving and painting on the wooden platforms of the “River of Paro” wedge sandal, shown here. The platform’s uppers feature the same traditional Lotus and blooming flower motif, crafted from laser-cut leathers and made in Italy.
The collection made its debut in July at Paris Couture Week when Louboutin unveiled the “Loubhoutan Express,” an immersive experience where editors, buyers and influencers went through a replica Orient Express vintage train car (painted Louboutin red, naturally) that brought attendees to a faux-Himalayan mountain vista made of dry ice.
This isn’t the first time that the iconic shoe designer has turned to travel for inspiration. Last year, Louboutin debuted a capsule of handbags made by artisans in Portugal, where he has a house and will soon open a hotel. His couture-level atelier collections have also earned him accolades: In September, Louboutin received the Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion.
The one-of-a-kind collection will make its public debut Dec. 19-22 at Phillips Aucttion House in New York, where select styles will be on display and available for purchase. The Bhutan collection will also be sold at the Christian Louboutin Madison Avenue boutique in New York as well as in Paris, London, Dubai and New Delhi.