Christian Louboutin to open men’s boutiques in London and New York
French footwear king Christian Louboutin has announced the opening of his first stand-alone men’s boutiques in the UK and the US. Hot on the heels of the Paris men’s store that opened last September, Louboutin is set to capitalise on the ever-growing menswear market.
The menswear industry is seeing unprecedented growth, and as male interest and attention to clothing grows, naturally their interest in footwear will follow. Times are a-changing and gone are the days when men’s footwear options were confined to the options of lace-ups or slip-on.
Of course throughout history there have been fashion fads in men’s footwear, such as spats and platforms, but the mainstream has always stuck to the classics. Recent years, however, have seen huge changes in how men view fashion and the risks they are willing to take. The big high-end footwear designers such as Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik all have their own men’s lines, UK brands Underground and Jeffrey West push the envelope with their edgy designs, and the high street follows suit, shoeing the masses. Louboutin creates truly stunning shoes; not for the faint-hearted, these are for the man who demands attention.
Louboutin, one-time apprentice to legendary Parisian shoe designer Roger Vivier, whose famous red-soled creations are coveted by women worldwide (his first ever customer was Princess Caroline of Monaco and author Danielle Steele reportedly owns 6,000 pairs!), launched his men’s line originally focused on trainers-sneakers if you are American. This has since grown to cover a vast array of styles from loafers to boots, all with his signature flourish of details such as spikes and studs. A celebrity favourite is the spiked “Rollerball” loafer; he recently designed a shoe for Welsh ex-rugby player Gareth Thomas and has designed shoes for pop singer Mika to wear on stage. Louboutin’s pricey men’s creations shoes are worn by many. Not just the reserve of male fashion editors, they are popular amongst NBA stars and Premier League football players, and of course the rappers Kanye West and Tinie Tempah.
In London Christian Louboutin will join the ever-growing presence of the fashion elite on Dover Street in Mayfair this November and in New York its equivalent, the trendy Meatpacking District, this month.
Credit cards at the ready boys.
Ian Michael Turner