RESTORATION AFOOT: Paying tribute to one of his childhood stomping grounds, Christian Louboutin is the main sponsor of a major restoration program under way on one of Paris’ Art Deco architectural gems, the Palais de la Porte Dorée.
Constructed for the Paris Colonial Exhibition in 1931, and once home to the Museum of Overseas France, the protected building, located in the Porte Dorée district in the city’s 12th arrondissement, has changed names several times. Today it houses the National Museum of the History of Immigration and an aquarium.
Louboutin, who grew up in the area, said he has a personal connection with the site, which inspired one of his first creations: a shoe with a metallic leather inspired by the fish in the tropical aquarium.
“Today, the palace also represents the values that I share around diversity and openness to the world,” the designer said.
The brand’s support will go directly toward the restoration of the impressive bas-relief covering the site’s facade, designed by Alfred Auguste Janniot, and the renovation of the great hall, with its monumental frescoes by Pierre-Henri Ducos de la Haille depicting scenes from colonial France. It will also go toward restoring the furniture in the building’s two historic salons, Africa and Asia, designed by Eugène Printz and Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann, and the reconstitution of the Laprade library, named after the site’s architect, Albert Laprade.