Christian Louboutin brings his signature style to men’s bench-made dress shoes.
Fashionable women worldwide know Christian Louboutin. The French designer’s sexy stilettos, adorned with his trademark red-lacquered soles, are expertly collected and widely coveted. Less known, perhaps, is Louboutin’s own penchant for collecting: His assemblage numbers nearly 400 pairs of men’s shoes, which he stores in his homes in Paris, Lisbon, and Cairo. “I organize them by style, such as spiked, embroidered, black sneakers, and other sneakers,” says the 52-year-old, who has two pairs of some of his favorite models so as not to wear them out.
Louboutin’s personal affinity for footwear has recently translated into his brand’s broader collection for fall, a lineup that includes his men’s bench-made dress shoes. Referred to as “city shoes” by their creator, the collection’s latest dress styles are the fruits of a small workshop outside Naples, Italy, which employs about 50 artisans, many of whom are second- and third-generation cobblers. Over the past year, Louboutin has spent countless hours working alongside the shoemakers to ensure that the new models reflect his intended aesthetic—classic shapes with eye-catching refinements, such as grosgrain, patent leather, and colorful trim—but also provide a comfortable fit. Next year, he says, he will offer made-to-measure dress shoes in a few of his namesake men’s shops.