Louboutin signs autographs for fans of his signature red-soled shoes at Saks.
The famed French shoe designer made a grand appearance at Saks Fifth Avenue this season, autographing hundreds of pairs of shoes from his latest collection and thoughtfully musing about footwear— from menswear-inspired detailing to flip-flops. His favorite shoe in this collection is his tone-on-tone high heel with spikes. “I like the idea of the spikes becoming more of a decorative rather than rock ’n’ roll element,” he says. He was inspired by young showgirls—“what I call va-va girls.” When Louboutin is designing he imagines a woman in a moment of her life. “She’s moving her leg or showing off her ankle,” he says. While masculine motifs inform his feminine line, the designer has made the official leap into men’s shoes, opening his first men’s boutique in Paris in 2011—just in time for the brand’s 20th anniversary in 2012. He’s been surprised by the response. “When I first designed them, I had no idea who would be the customer,” he says. “I have seen actors, entertainers, athletes, but what unites most of them is that they love women. Men have said to me that they were jealous of the excitement their girlfriends feel about shoes. Now they can share in it.” While he enjoys the architectural construction of his new collection, among other styles Louboutin says he most admires is simple Havaianas. “They’re like jeans—they work in every culture. They are sexy on both men and women, and the classical design goes back to ancient Egypt and China. I wish I had designed them.” But we’re very glad he’s perfected the pump. Saks Fifth Avenue, The Shops at Prudential Center, 617-262-8500