World-renowned French footwear designer Christian Louboutin says India continues to fascinate people from foreign shores with its indigenous content because designers here are forever exploring the “re-attachment to roots”. Thus, “the things that you see in India, you see nowhere else”, he feels.
In a tete-a-tete with IANS here, Louboutin discussed his latest collaboration with Indian couturier Sabyasachi Mukherjee and steered the conversation to how Indian fashion is painting a story that is making waves worldwide.
He said: “I love fashion, but it is not my first obsession. So, when I was in India, there were so many things that I wanted to see other than fashion. I ended up really looking at fashion not much time ago. I’m going to talk about the last seven years.
“I have seen a different aspect of fashion industry in India, but what I have to say is that there is a strong identity in the Indian fashion which is based on one very simple thing and it is the re-attachment to its roots.”
Louboutin was quick to add that it “doesn’t mean that when you are attached to your roots then you are not thinking, or are not evolving”.
“That is really important. I come from a city of fashion. Parisians end up being very confident and snobbish about that. That is a reality. We have everything in Paris when it comes to fashion. But after saying all that, the things that you see in India, you see nowhere.
“That is why there’s the fascination in most countries as people see that they will never see anywhere else. So, on that page, it is a tap of confidence to the quality of beauty in your country,” he added.
Louboutin — whose collaboration with Sabyasachi is for a bespoke range of shoes and handbags — is delighted with the “strong, vivid, continuing change, but with really strong roots” in Indian fashion.
The international designer has himself tread a long way from a single storefront in Paris in 1991 to establishing his name across the world. Louboutin, whose father was a carpenter, made red-soles his trademark.
It is said that while growing up, Louboutin spent a year in India before heading to Paris in 1981. But fashion was not on his mind when he first came to India.
“All the initial years when I was coming to India, I was not looking at fashion. I was looking at what I would call tradition and quality of different traditions in India. There are so many things that India offers, but if you are a French person, then talking about 25 years ago, there are so many things you want to see in India before seeing fashion,” said the man who has designed shoes for celebrities like Victoria Beckham, Angelina Jolie, Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Lopez.
When it comes to designing for stars in Bollywood which, according to Louboutin, is all about sparkle and glitz, the designer wants them to approach his brand — and not the other way around.
“For me, the biggest treasure is when people want something that I am doing. Either you go for someone or you like that people are hunting. I would rather be hunted, than hunting people,” he said.
As far as his brand’s expansion is concerned, Louboutin says it will happen when it is meant to happen. For now, there are two Christian Louboutin stores in India — one in Delhi and one in Mumbai.
(Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
By Sugandha Rawal