Christian Louboutin has traversed beyond the fashion world and woven its way into pop culture consciousness. The brand is synonymous with a luxurious lifestyle most women can only dream about—and it’s this aspirational desire that has elevated the brand worldwide. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’ve had the privilege of sliding into a pair, just hearing “Louboutin” brings the famous red soles to mind. So you can imagine the excitement here at FLARE at the news that Toronto will be the home of the North American debut of the Christian Louboutin exhibit at the Design Exchange.
The Christian Louboutin Design Exchange exhibit, open to the public from June 21 to September 15, 2013, comes to us from London’s Design Museum where it broke attendance records and was acclaimed for providing an in-depth look at the inspiration and process that led to the shoe designer’s most iconic creations over the past 20 years. Visitors can view over 250 pairs of shoes, personal artifacts and sketches from Mr. Louboutin’s career, as well as a virtual installation which will create an even deeper overall connection with his fans. The exhibit is sectioned into several thematic displays which highlight key inspirations for the designer including Travel, Transparency, The Showgirl, Architeture and Fetish.
In an interview in advance of the opening next week, Mr. Louboutin describes how the exhibit came to be and the thematic display he prizes above others:
What was the initial impetus for creating the exhibition?
Initially, this was created as a celebration the 20th anniversary of my company at London’s Design Museum. I hoped to show visitors the process from inspiration to design, to finished product and focus attention on the extraordinary lengths it takes in terms of craftsmanship to create even a simple pair of shoes.
From such a large archive of work; how did you decide which styles you wanted to feature in this exhibit?
It was a long process! It was a process which needed to happen over a period of time so that the exhibition was not the product of just one morning’s mood, but instead over a few weeks to ensure it represented not a specific moment but the whole spectrum of 20 years, and one that took place with my whole Paris team around me to ensure this.
What is your most prized possession featured in the exhibition?
Probably not a particular item, but the Fetish collection display with David Lynch’s photography represents a true souvenir of shooting with him and my experience working with him on our 2007 project dedicated to the idea of Fetish. So, not a possession, but a representation of an experience.
What do you hope visitors will learn on visiting the exhibition, the most important message they will come away with?
That every detail and everything around you is a source of inspiration and a possible design. The only thing you must remember is not to restrict yourself—never limit yourself to the creative world or industry you belong to.
Christian Louboutin at the Design Exchange runs from June 21 to September 15, 2013. Tickets are on sale now at dx.org.