HAVING watched his assistant paint her nails red in the corner of his Parisian workshop, Christian Louboutin decided to paint the soles of his shoes scarlet too.
In that moment, the iconic “red bottoms” were born and quickly became the world’s most famous heels.
As the sexy stiletto celebrates its 30th birthday, women across the globe will pay homage to the six-inch skyscrapers.
From A-listers to Wags, everyone wanted a pair of Loubs.
“The sole is a point of silent recognition between women all over the world,” French designer Louboutin, 60, says. “Showing yours is a sort of flirtation.”
He claims his heels can elongate women’s legs and make them feel “sexy and beautiful”.
But the designer footwear does not come cheap.
A pair will set you back anywhere between £645 and £6,000 depending on the style.
Not that the hefty price tag is a problem for celebrities, who are often snapped matching them to red carpets.
In 2009, Jennifer Lopez named a single Louboutins.
Seven years later, Beyonce wore a pair of Country Crochet Louboutin boots when she performed at the American Super Bowl halftime show.
Taylor Swift sparkled in a pair of jewelled knee-high boots by the designer for her record-breaking Eras tour this year.
All of the pop stars managed to perform in the notoriously uncomfortable skyscrapers without injuring themselves — something Christian feared would happen to late singer Tina Turner, who liked to wear them during her concerts.
“When the show opened, all I could see was scaffolding on the stage and I thought, ‘Oh, my God, she’s going to climb on the scaffolding and jump from it’.
“I was paralysed. I couldn’t enjoy the show as I was so worried about her breaking her neck. I knew the height of the heel,” he told a fashion magazine in 2012.
Victoria Beckham, pregnant with Harper at the time, wore custom-made Louboutin stilettos to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011.
The same year, Louboutin sued competitor YSL for selling a shoe with a red sole.
After a lengthy battle, New York’s Court of Appeals said that Louboutin’s trademark red soles were entitled to protection, except when the shoe itself is red.
The designer also sued high street store Zara for selling a £40 red-soled shoe.
But a French court ruled there was no risk of confusion between the pairs — a fact most shoppers would agree with, especially when they saw the price tags.
After the debacle, Louboutin registered a fresh trademark application, protecting their exact red shade.
Today Christian owns 150 stores worldwide and is worth more than £1.2billion.
While some feminists see heels as sexual enslavement, Louboutin believes his can “free women”.
“High heels empower a woman in a way,” he once said. “The woman carries her clothes, but her shoes carry the woman.”
That’s presuming she can actually walk in them . . .
Sext stilettos lift your spirit and status
By Clemmie Fieldsend, Fashion Editor
HIGH in heel and price, Louboutins have much in common with other designer stilettos.
But they’ve stood the test of time as one of the most iconic.
The status shoe has been worn by the original supermodels, the first cast of Towie and every A-lister in between.
So what makes them so desirable? Well, influencers aside, it’s the quality.
That elite level of hard work, high standard and attention to detail gives them an edge – and the £600 plus price tag.
The flash of red is a beacon that tells everyone you’ve got great taste – and plenty of cash.
Then, of course, there is the man himself, Mr Louboutin. With over 30 years’ experience with footwear and women’s feet, he knows how to create a good shoe and make it sexy.
He once told The Sunday Times: “A high heel is the arch of the foot, because it is the position of a woman’s foot when she orgasms.”
Loubs are, however, famous for causing crippling pain. For those of us who can’t take it, there are rip-offs, shoe paint or stick-on soles.
But the originals are sure to have women falling head-over-heels for another 30 years.