|Founder(s)||Christian Louboutin (Designer)|
Christian Louboutin (born 1964) is a footwear designer who launched his line of high-end women's shoes in France in 1991. Since 1992, his designs have incorporated the shiny, red-lacquered soles that have become his signature. On March 27, 2007, Christian Louboutin filed an application for U.S. trademark protection of this red sole design.
Christian Louboutin helped bring stilettos back into fashion in the 1990s and 2000s, designing dozens of styles with heel heights of 120mm (4.72 inches) and higher. The designer's professed goal is to “make a woman look sexy, beautiful, to make her legs look as long as [he] can.” While he does offer some lower-heeled styles, Louboutin is generally associated with his dressier eveningwear designs incorporating bejeweled straps, bows, feathers, patent leather and other, similar decorative touches. In his U.S. trademark application, Louboutin explains the inception of the signature red soles: "In 1992 I incorporated the red sole into the design of my shoes. This happened by accident as I felt that the shoes lacked energy so I applied red nail polish to the sole of a shoe. This was such a success that it became a permanent fixture."
Louboutin also received inspiration for his infamous, lethal-looking stilettos from an incident that occurred in his early twenties. He had visited a museum and noticed that there was a sign that forbade women to enter while wearing sharp stilettos, for fear of damage to the extensive wood flooring. This image stayed in his mind, and he later used this idea in his designs. "I wanted to defy that," Louboutin has said. "I wanted to create something that broke rules and made women feel confident and empowered." Christian Louboutin has topped The Luxury Institute's annual Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) for 3 years; the brand's offerings were declared the Most Prestigious Women's Shoes in 2007, 2008 and 2009.