By Esha Sharma
In honor of Christian Louboutin’s 20th anniversary, London’s Design Museum presents the first UK retrospective of the acclaimed French shoe designer, showcasing his work and inspiration over the past two decades.
A giant 3D hologram of a burlesque dancer, a figure Louboutin claims is among his greatest inspirations, greets visitors of the exhibition. The 10 week showcase features dozens of Louboutin’s creations, many of them displayed on a 17-metre (56-foot) version of the famous scarlet sole that is the brand’s iconic and defining feature.
Highlighting the exhibition is Louboutin’s actual design process – from the initial drawings and prototypes, to the production in the factory. Some of Louboutin’s designs are displayed with magnifying glasses, allowing closer examination of details.
“Having an exhibition about my work is a big premiere for me and it’s quite a journey,” said Louboutin. “This journey has lasted for 20 years, so to me it makes me to see what was missing, what I have forgotten, what was bringing me memories, what was bringing me less good memories…But basically it made me go through a big part of my life”.
Louboutin is currently involved in a legal battle with Yves Saint Laurent over the trademark of his red soled designs. After Yves Saint Laurent launched their own red soled shoes, Louboutin leveraged a million dollar lawsuit, claiming copyright infringement. A judge ruled against the copyright claim in August, and Louboutin has since appealed against the decision.
The exhibition runs through June 9th. Tickets and bookings can be obtained from the museum’s website here.