Christian Louboutin has some of the most loyal and ecstatic fans and customers in the shoe biz, and they were out in full force back in February to celebrate the opening of the French designer’s retrospective, “Exhibition(iste),” at the Palais de la Porte Dorée in Paris.
Held during Paris Fashion Week, not even the fast-approaching pandemic could scare away some of Louboutin’s top clients and collectors, who walked the museum hallways clad in many of the designer’s most iconic, dazzling and outrageous footwear creations — some of which even mirrored the styles shown in the exhibition itself.
Now that Paris is slowly but surely resuming normal life, the museum and the Louboutin exhibition has reopened, with an extended run date through January 31, 2021. In honor of the reopening, FN is looking back at the conversations that were had with a handful of Louboutin’s biggest collectors and super fans.
“For me, the butterflies were a huge significance, because it represents my grandmother and it represents her spirit and her soul,” said Adela Garza, a private collector wearing a couture pair of pink satin platform sandals with criss-cross straps and topped with lifelike butterflies. Garza had flown in from the Midwest to Paris specifically to see the exhibition. “So many of his shoes represent the creativity and the personal story that each of us has behind it. If you look around the room, (each person) has a different story of what attracted them to that shoe. I think that’s what’s so beautiful about his art, everybody sees something different in it.”
For stylist and designer Urbana Chappa Lawrence, Louboutin’s bright and bold colors and shapes have drawn her to his designs for decades. “I like to make a statement. I love that that’s what he does. That’s who I am, I’m full of color, full of life,” she said, showing off a version of the iconic Follie Strass style from a few seasons back, done in clear PVC and decorated with multi-colored crystals. “Back in the day I could never afford a pair of Louboutins, and now my closet is like a museum, I have almost every pair,” she added.
And it isn’t just women who collect the designer’s shoes. Two male fans showed off a few wild styles; one, a pair of bubblegum pink sneakers that were decked out with tone-on-tone pink crystals; the other, the Jolly boot in a satin leopard print material.
Here are five styles from the Louboutin connoisseurs that can still be found — though not easily, it must be noted, as some are truly museum-worthy pieces.
1.The Follie Strass
Done in a sling back, ankle-strap or just plain pump, the Follie Strass is one of Louboutin’s most sought-after shoes styles on the market today. The combination of PVC and crystals on the upper makes it look like your feet are literally sparkling.
2. Roxxxy Strass crystal platform boots
This limited edition style from 2018 are about as over-the-top as it gets. Approximately 10 pairs of each size were made, making them a true collectible.
3. Masteralta Loubitag slip on sneakers
Done in a handmade graffiti print, these slip-ons are like an autograph from the designer.
4. Bolsheva fringe over-the-knee boot
With swingy metallic fringe and miles of black suede, this 2019 style (which was captured in an FN cover shoot) is already a collectible.
5. The Jolly men’s boot
The designer has made myriad versions of his take on the trusty Chelsea, but the leopard print option is just so quintessentially Louboutin.
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