Christian Louboutin at work

Christian Louboutin’s signature flash of red is the inspiration for the designer’s first foray into the world  of cosmetics, writes Rebecca Gonsalves

There are few things more distinctive than a flash of the red sole of a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes – though many who covet such a luxury may not realise the origins of this signature detail.

While Louboutin may have first opened the doors to his Parisian shoe salon in 1991, it wasn’t until a year later that, feeling something was missing from a prototype, he reached for his assistant’s bottle of red nail polish to add a flourish of scarlet to the sole.

Since that first experiment, Louboutin has become one of the most famous shoe designers in the world, adding accessories and men’s shoes to his hugely successful line. Now though, it’s time for his first steps into the world of beauty – and what could be a more natural first offering than returning to the cosmetic that kicked off his career? And lo, “Rouge Louboutin” was born.

Rouge Louboutin and Ballerina Ultima

While the red is only available online for now, it will soon be stocked in Louboutin boutiques and concessions where it will be joined by 30 more shades inspired by the designer’s archive. As the names suggest, “pops” are vibrant and playful, “noirs” feature intense blues, blacks and greens and “nudes” range from vanilla to chocolate.


Packaged in a multi-faceted art deco bottle, with a great spike of a lid inspired by calligraphy pens and the Ballerina Ultima – the highest heel Louboutin has ever designed, as part of a collaboration with David Lynch – it will  no doubt take pride of place on dressing tables the world over.

Such luxurious detailing comes at a premium price (£36), and though some may baulk, it’s a far more attainable way to achieve that thrilling flash of Louboutin red than a pair of designer heels.