One of the fashion industry’s most iconic footwear designers, Christian Louboutin, launched an exhibit in Paris (February 2020) just before the city shutdown in early March due to the coronavirus threat. Here are a few of my favourite images: 

All photos by me

What is it about women and shoes? Especially those with a glossy red sole? In February, I attended the launch of an exhibit showcasing the iconic French createur’s designs at the Palais de la Portee Doree in Paris. The stunning Art Deco museum is located in Louboutin’s childhood neighbourhood. The exhibit was supposed to be open until July 2020 so I’m hoping it will open again soon, and then tour the world. 

Opening night!
Christian Louboutin explains heel heights
Nordstrom is the lead sponsor for the exhibit so I was lucky enough to host a handful of customers at the opening.
In keeping with the museum's Art Deco style - Louboutin stilettos are featured in stained glass.
The first gallery features many of his original designs, including the very first from 1987 - a pump made from mackerel skin - that's right, fish skin!
The exhibit, featuring more than 200 shoes, is as whimsical and cheeky as one would expect the man himself to be. Shoe lover overload!
Why the red sole? In the early days, Louboutin borrowed an assistant's nail varnish to paint a sole. Voila!
The idea stuck and one of fashion's most recognizable signatures was born.
I really enjoyed the atelier room showcasing lighthearted videos (with a tiny animated Christian on the right) of the making of a satin embellished pump.
I also loved the theatre starring a hologram of one of his biggest fans, burlesque performer Dita von Teese, and many of her shoes like these Western boots.

Other rooms include a fetish room – restricted to adults – and an imaginary museum that highlights inspirational items selected by the designer such as photographs, paintings, masks and footwear by other designers including Pierre Hardy and Roger Vivier. Louboutin was Vivier’s personal assistant before launching his own business in 1991. 

A pop culture corridor, decked out in red scaffolding and mirrors, shows off media moments from Louboutin’s many celebrity fans including Dolly Parton, Brad Pitt, Rihanna, Beyonce and Lady Gaga. And while I’ve only showed heels and one pair of flats, Louboutin also designs sneakers and men’s wear. 

I’m so grateful to have toured this exhibit, and hope that it will be viewed by the public soon. I enjoy exhibits like this so I can better understand the process – both craftsmanship and production – of the fashion pieces I own. Now, when I slip into my Christian Louboutin shoes, I will have a better appreciation of the love behind them.