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The Louboutin Legacy

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Long before women were allowed to express themselves fully, the Marquis de Sade said that "the way to a woman's heart is along the path of torment". This was recently quoted in Claudia's Croft interview with Christian Louboutin who stated that, "a little discomfort is balanced by something else, which has to do with desire." Have the French spoken?

Sex appeal, glamour and power are all associated with the iconic red-soled shoe that furnishes the closets of thousands of women worldwide. From the high-powered business associates that march down New York's busy streets, jumping out of cabs and leaving the change, to the yummy mummies that lunch on Marylebone High Street, we've all heard the name. Louboutin. The French designer's name is revered across the world, sparking synapses in the brains of all women when mentioned.

Holding his position at the top of the luxury shoe market, Christian Louboutin has captivated the hearts, minds and bank accounts of women from all walks of life. A coincidence it is not that Louboutin arrived on the scene during the 90s, just as the fashion world was embracing accessories as a powerful, sexy tool of seduction. Alongside Manolo Blahnik and Tamara Mellon of Jimmy Choo, the power triangle of the luxury footwear market was established. Accessories were transformed through a critical passage of change by the statement red sole, turning the everyday heel into a sexy fetish object. Everything about the Louboutin heel, from the thrust of the curve to the popping sole, screams sex. Lots of it.

I tried a pair on, just once. The soft interior lining soothed my sore feet as I stood up. I felt a rush, the famous Louboutin rush that I've been so fondly coveting since I first spied the red sole. Looking down, I admired my feet whilst walking a few paces in them; the heels were towering but the feeling incredible. For sure, like no other.

The shoe is a pedestal of the woman's whole body. Shoes define us as people; what you put on your feet certainly defines who you are and your outlook on the world. They characterise the way we look at ourselves, at other women and most of all, how men see us. We've all tried on the perfect dress before realising that the high heel is the only thing that can improve it. There's nothing like the perfect curve of the foot in the perfect shoe. Louboutins do this for us, like no other creation on earth.

In a recent interview, Louboutin asserted that the confidence gained from wearing a good pair of heels was attractive to men; the centring of gravity made us more shapely, more sexy. High heels literally raise our status; make us feel more confident and more powerful. For me the height is genius; it improves my gait, makes me cross my legs a certain way (a la Marlene Dietrich) and feel cool and confident, providing I've practised running for the tube.

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