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“It Takes a Specific State of Mind:” Christian Louboutin on Designing for Men

His bold designs have been worn by everyone from Rami Malek to Childish Gambino, with the footwear maestro’s label a stalwart on the red carpet ever since its launch in the 1990s. However, for this season, Christian Louboutin looked back to the years before the birth of his eponymous brand.

The French designer took inspiration from decor of the Seventies in his Interior Design Collection, embracing punchy jacquards, vibrant prints, and geometric motifs across a range of statement shoes. Playfully rebellious, the men’s line-up includes everything from leopard loafers to metallic boots and punky sneakers. “Dozens of new styles are developed each season, but it was important for me to look back at the classics of the men’s collection and dedicate a story to them,” Louboutin tells “I reintroduced the Yacht Spikes in the colors of the season and also returned details we’ve had before such as the contrasted silver spikes on the classic black or white Louis sneakers.” The result is an edgy yet high-octane line that will inject a daring dose of interest into any occasion.

While Louboutin has been crafting pieces for women for decades, his venture into men’s shoes is relatively recent, with the designer launching his first line in 2011. It was a branching-out inspired by his friend and singer Mika, who asked the creative to design a pair of shoes for a show. “He liberated me from the traditional ideas about men’s fashion and helped me understand that men also need some of the things that have long been associated with women,” says Louboutin. However, that isn’t to say the designer approaches his menswear in the same manner as his womenswear.


Christian Louboutin’s Interior Design collection. Image courtesy of Christian Louboutin

“I put myself in a specific state of mind to design a men’s collection,” he says, revealing that Idris Elba as James Bond would be his dream person to dress. “Let’s say I take a piece of leather and I’m thinking of a woman. I’m going to think, ‘OK, can I do a bow, is it soft enough, can I drape it?’ When I’m working on a men’s shoe, then I’m going to visualize it completely differently. Is it thick enough? Will it expand enough? Is it soft enough that guys will like it? Do I need to line it?'” When it comes to a shoe’s silhouette, Louboutin thinks of a men’s piece as being more angular, whereas a woman’s design is more curved, he adds.

While the designer often becomes more experimental as the seasons pass, his next move is to offer something even more personal for his customers. “We’re about to launch a great special order offer for men’s and women’s,” Louboutin reveals, adding that several events will be held in the Middle East in the near future. “The idea is to customize a selection of shoes – including loafers and sneakers – with your initials or colors.”

Always progressive and future-thinking, Louboutin certainly hasn’t rested on his design laurels, despite his label celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2016. The star cites traveling as a way to stay motivated and creatively inspired, deeming himself a “very curious person”. “When I was younger I would go to the travel agent’s office and look at the airline timetables and plan the routes,” he says. “I love exploring new places, walking the streets and seeing the colors of the city.”

Scroll through the gallery above to discover more highlights from Christian Louboutin’s Interior Design collection.

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