Thursday, October 22, 2009
A sample of the Louboutin Barbie Diary. Britney "Circus" Barbie?
Photo: Courtesy of Mattel
Continuing Barbie's relentless invasion of the fashion industry, she's entered into a multifaceted business deal with Christian Louboutin. Their partnership includes these elements:
1. Louboutin made a hot-pink "Barbie" shoe for real people.
2. Louboutin will customize a Barbie doll and accessories collection.
3. Louboutin helped Mattel create a "diary filled with images of Louboutin and Barbie as they explore the cobbler’s favorite things." (One such image is pictured here.)
4. Louboutin will be Barbie's "godfather" for a year.
So, out of all that, Mattel and Louboutin should get about eight cocktail parties to garner even more publicity and celebrate this momentous groundbreaking fashion-doll partnership.
Anyway, Louboutin customized the doll by reshaping her figure — most importantly, her feet. Earlier this week, a spokesman for the designer told WWD, "He found her ankles were too fat." The feminist blogosphere wasn't happy about that comment.
Today he does damage control in WWD. He doesn't think her ankles are fat — he just thinks they could be thinner.
“Barbie’s foot has always been shaped less ‘curvy’ than the rest of her perfect body,” he said. “I just added my little science to Barbie and I’ve been proud to serve her. But fat ankles she didn’t have, she just could have had thinner ankles. That’s all.
“My God, what a story,” he said, reacting to the controversy. “I apologize to my goddaughter [Barbie]. There has been a bit of confusion there, but it’s just the proof that Barbie has real serious fans.”
If Barbie were a real person, she would measure something like 39 inches in the bust, 18 in the waist, and 22 in the hips. So now that Louboutin has de-cankled her, she's extra perfect!
Louboutin Fetes Barbie at 50 [WWD]
London (ANI): Fashion shoe designer Christian Louboutin thinks Barbie "has fat ankles", and so the expert has decided to redesign her with slimmer legs.
Although Barbie has often been criticized in the past for being too thin and setting a bad example before young girls, Louboutin insists the doll has 'cankles', or fat ankles. The Telegraph quoted a Louboutin spokeswoman as telling Metro: "They're completely wild and even come with mini Louboutin boxes for the shoes." She added: "He found her ankles were too fat."
The makeover is being given as a part of the doll's 50th anniversary celebrations. The super popular Barbie has often been the subject of controversy - its manufacturer Mattel has previously raised eyebrows for making her too top-heavy, while studies shown her to be too lean.
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Wednesday, May 6, 2009
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Sunday, May 3, 2009
Christian Louboutin poses with a pair of stilettos called "Siamese" that he produced in collaboration with David Lynch.
Ben Baker / Redux
Most designers learn their craft in the ateliers of more seasoned masters, but shoe designer Christian Louboutin found his calling as a 17-year-old apprentice in the dressing rooms of Paris' famous cabaret the Folies Bergère. "I would watch the girls going up and down the stairs with these very heavy headdresses on, and they never looked at their shoes," he says. "That's where I learned that shoes are all about posture and proportion."
Showgirls of all kinds--from Tina Turner to Nicole Kidman--are still an inspiration for Christian Louboutin, 44, whose instantly recognizable red-soled stilettos have become de rigueur on the red carpet and among Hollywood's A-list crowd. "He is the foremost shoe designer in the world," says Valerie Steele, director of the museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where his designs were the subject of a recent retrospective, "Sole Desire."
Christian Louboutin spent the early years of his career designing shoes for some of fashion's biggest names, including Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and Maud Frizon. In 1992 he opened up his own shop at the end of a picturesque 19th century Parisian arcade. He still runs his business from that Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau address, but now his shoes are sold in 46 countries around the world. He has 14 boutiques in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and London, and he plans to open six more next year in places like Singapore, Jakarta and Beijing. He counts Oprah, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cameron Diaz, Katie Holmes and hundreds of other Hollywood stars among his loyal clientele.
Christian Louboutin is just as solicitous of his less famous customers. At a recent personal appearance at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City, he canceled his flight back to Paris in order to spend another two hours signing shoes. For a woman who confessed that she was "just a housewife," Christian Louboutin signed the sole, TO MY FAVORITE HOT HOUSEWIFE. A blushing bride asked him to sign her wedding shoes, and he grabbed a blue pen and wrote, HERE IS SOMETHING BLUE.
According to Saks' fashion director' Michael Fink, Christian Louboutin's shoes--which retail on average for $800--are one of the store's top-selling brands. "It's the mystique of the extremely sexy pump," says Fink. "And, of course, the subtle branding of the red sole really helps."
More than a cunning marketing concept, the red sole was a happy accident. While working on a prototype in his studio in his early designing days, Christian Louboutin searched for a way to match the shoe to a colorful sketch. "Something was missing, and I couldn't figure it out," he remembers. "Then I realized that the black sole of the shoe was too dark." So he grabbed a bottle of red nail polish from an assistant who was doing her nails nearby and painted the soles. "It didn't take me long to learn from my customers that the red soles were very popular with men," Christian Louboutin says, laughing. "This red sole was a bit of a green light."
While women have always been his predominant inspiration, Christian Louboutin, a landscape and garden fanatic, often looks to nature for ideas. Starting out, he tried covering his shoes in fish scales. Another, more successful idea was embedding hydrangea petals in a clear silicone heel. He even tapped into the recycling trend with his "trash" shoes, which incorporated old métro tickets and café receipts in the heels. "He looks at everything," says his close friend Diane von Furstenberg. "His shoes are like sculptures, objects, jewels." But Christian Louboutin knows that women's most desired treasures are the ones they can wear.
Saturday, May 2, 2009