A History of the Red Sole

Fashion / Footwear / Luxury Designers

Pantone 18-1663 TPX. The rich rouge colour of Christian Louboutin’s sole is iconic. For three consecutive years the designer label won the “Most Prestigious Women’s Shoes” award, in 2007, 2008, and 2009.

Intricately hand-crafted in Italy. Each shoe is delicately produced by precise artisans, trained in the art of perfection. The finest materials and leathers are expertly hand-selected from around the world. These are then meticulously hand cut and precisely constructed.

Many are allured by the luxurious rouge soles, but far fewer are aware of their interesting history. Next year, 2018, marks 25 years of the iconic red sole. Christian Louboutin began his successful career during the 1980s as a freelance designer, before establishing his own shoe salon in Paris, 1991. In 1993 Christian Louboutin was working on a prototype of the “Pensée”, inspired by Andy Warhol’s “Flowers”, which despite being beautifully made failed to “pop” as powerfully as his initial sketch. As if by fate, an assistant was sat nearby applying red varnish to her nails. Louboutin spontaneously snatched the bottle and began painting the sole red. The varnish proved the perfect finish, and so the legend of the red sole began.

In 2014 the story of the red sole came full-circle, as Louboutin unveiled his signature Rouge Louboutin Nail Colour, beautifully shaped to resemble a heel. As Louboutin himself proclaimed, “I am giving back to nails what the shoe took from the nails many years ago”.