In celebration of the opening of the Christian Louboutin boutique in the Miami Design District, the mastermind behind the signature red sole sat down with Cultured to discuss his relationship with 212box Architecture, the art of collecting and what makes the Miami flagship store so unique.
When did you first begin collaborating with 212box Architecture? I have been working with Eric Clough for more than 15 years. We met in New York when we designed the West Village boutique which opened in 2004.
Since then has 212box Architecture designed every store? Not all of the boutiques but at least half of them. We now have over 130 stores. Eric has a great sense of volume. If you give me a blank wall I am able to imagine the future project and assist in changing that volume. The Miami Design District boutique is really special because it is the biggest store we now have in the U.S. It also contains a lot of pieces that I have been collecting throughout the years. For instance, these columns came from a Parisian façade from the early 70’s which I acquired 10 years ago. At the time I did not know exactly what I would do with them, I just knew I loved them!
What is your most recent acquisition? I recently purchased a beautiful staircase. I don’t know where it is going to go, nor do I have the house for it. But these objects make a part of my creative process.
Are you constantly looking for pieces to add to your collection in your travels? Yes, but it is a natural process. On my first trip to India when I was 15, I remember buying very beautiful cheap jewelry, this is my first memory of collecting.
Can you tell me about the feathers displayed in the boutique. I have always loved feathers. I have a lot of feathers in my apartments in Paris and in Portugal. But every time I am designing a store, it is important for me to infuse elements from each location. Anne Schroeder is an artist from Key West who uses feathers in her work. While designing this location, I immediately knew I wanted Anne to design a site specific work using these elements.
What about the ceiling? The salle de fête in the Musée des Arts Africains et Océaniens has a similar ceiling except it is ten times higher. It was the inspiration for the Miami boutique’s ceiling. The floors of the museum had different patterns and different mosaics and I remember there was a sketch of a high heel with a huge cross across it, it was forbidden to wear heels because it would break the floor. This was the first time that I saw a sketch of a high heel. The ripples on the ceiling are linked to Miami because it reminds me of the sea. I was initially thinking of painting an area of the ceiling blue, but then I thought it was best to keep it all white to transfer some of the light from outside.
Do you believe that there is a shoe for every city? There is much more affinity between a place like Los Angeles and Dubai, for instance than there is to a place like L.A. to New York or Miami. New York is more like Paris because people are walking a lot in both regions. People barely walk in Miami due to the heat, so Miami would be more like Bombay in India. Bombay has the sea, has a lot of night life and it is a city of cars so there would be many similarities in the type of shoes you decide to wear between both regions.
Can you tell us about the limited edition collection designed for the opening? The limited edition collection style has some 1950s type of embroidery which looks like a poster from Miami in the 1950’s, very art deco.