Christian Louboutin’s men’s collection started organically a few years ago when the designer began making shoes for himself and a few friends. Louboutin added men’s footwear to women’s stores, but demand became too big for the women’s shops to handle. There was enough demand to justify a freestanding men’s store, which opened on Sept. 11 on Rue Jean Jacques Rousseau in Paris across from the original women’s store Louboutin opened 20 years earlier.
WWD has learned that Louboutin in the spring will open a 1,035-square-foot men’s store in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. It will be its second men’s store in the world.
“The men’s shoes only represent a small portion of the business at present but we think it has huge potential for the future,” said Alexis Mourot, chief operating officer. “We are very happy to have found a location in New York, especially one so close to our current downtown women’s boutique. This store opening in New York is an important step for Christian and for the company.”
Louboutin’s retail sales exceeded $250 million for the year ended August 2010.
The new men’s store will be located on Washington Street between Horatio Street and Gansevoort Street, and next to the Whitney Museum of American Art construction site.
It’s around the corner from Louboutin’s store at 59 Horatio Street, which was opened in 2004. The small store is said to do a robust volume with crowds so big on Saturdays, it’s hard to get in the store.
After 20 years of designing exquisite and at times edgy footwear for women, Louboutin is getting in touch with his masculine side. And he seems to be showing men’s footwear with the same attention to detail. The men’s styles can be as extravagant as the women’s. A collaboration with Jean-François Lesage, son of the late François Lesage whose maison was considered the last great embroidery atelier in Paris, yielded a collection for fall. India was the inspiration for several styles including Mikaraja, a patent leather loafer with hand-stitched pearl tassels for $2,095, and the Loubi Flat, in off white nappa leather with Lesage embroidery, $2,295. There’s also a Rollerboy spiked velvet hunter green loafer, $1,295, that looks like a porcupine, and the Alfie Flat, mulitcolor specchio calf and glitter high tops, $895.
Louboutin executives said details of the store’s design haven’t been finalized. However, the appeal of the space is obviously its industrial bones and masculine aura. The store is near the final southern entrance to the High Line at Gansevoort Street. One thing is fairly certain, the store will likely have a reworked red carpet, which has become a Louboutin signature.
The Paris men’s store has an eclectic mix of studded leather floors and embroidered leather walls, a tin ceiling, vintage airplane seats and a “Star Trek” table and chair. Customers can personalize their Louboutins with bespoke embroidery replicating their own tattoos or choose from the store’s designs, a service that could be carried over to the Meatpacking District.
The company declined to discuss future men’s stores, but a possible location is the Christian Louboutin store on North Robertson Boulevard between Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard. The two-story building has a freestanding structure behind it.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)