In August, Christian Louboutin discreetly unlocked the doors to his first ever men’s shop in the Galerie Vro-Dodat in Paris. Despite the recession and breath taking price of his shoes, Louboutin has been selling about 25 pairs a day. Thanks to retailers’ enthusiasm the shoe king is already generating whispers of a men’s boutique in New York.
The store was designed by Eric Clough and features studded leather floors created by the Mexican company Chic by Accident and leather walls with embroidery by Jean-Franois Lesage. Vintage airplane seats, a “Star Trek” table and chair, a tin ceiling and an animal print rug all give the store a bold, masculine vibe intended to distinguish the shop from his women’s boutique, which rests across a covered passageway.
Past the main area of the store is the “Tattoo” room with fancier styles and even fancier prices. Louboutin envisions a made-to-order service where men can create personalized tattoos for their shoes. Louboutin describes the crowd attracted to his store, telling WWD, “What we sell is quite exceptional. The customer here is not attached necessarily to old traditions.”
Louboutin did not cater to a male market until 2008, when he attended the Costume Institute ball at the Metropolitan Museum of Art wearing silver-studded loafers. Naturally, envious men throughout the MET requested a pair, inspiring Louboutin to produce a line of them. The famed shoe designer now sells men’s shoes worldwide and plans to extend his male reach to bags.
Christian Louboutin’s cult following and knack for elegant and seductive shoe designs leaves us with little doubt that he will soon infect men everywhere with the shoe bug. What do you think of Louboutin’s expanding business?
Photo via WWD