By Kate Betts Thursday, Apr. 17, 2008 Christian Louboutin poses with a pair of stilettos called Christian Louboutin poses with a pair of stilettos called “Siamese” that he produced in collaboration with David Lynch. Most designers learn their craft in the ateliers of more seasoned masters, but shoe designer Christian Louboutin found his calling as a 17-year-old apprentice in the dressing rooms of Paris’ famous cabaret the Folies Berge. “I would watch the girls going up and down the stairs with these very heavy headdresses on, and they never looked at their shoes,” he says. “That’s where I learned that shoes are all about posture and proportion.” Showgirls of all kinds–from Tina Turner to Nicole Kidman–are still an inspiration for Louboutin, 44, whose instantly recognizable red-soled stilettos have become de rigueur on the red carpet and among Hollywood’s A-list crowd http://www.superchristianlouboutinonline.com/. “He is the foremost shoe designer in the world,” says Valerie Steele, director of the museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where his designs were the subject of a recent retrospective, “Sole Desire.” Christian Louboutin spent the early years of his career designing shoes for some of fashion’s biggest names, including Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and Maud Frizon. In 1992 he opened up his own shop at the end of a picturesque 19th century Parisian arcade. He still runs his business from that Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau address, but now his shoes are sold in 46 countries around the world. He has 14 boutiques in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and London, and he plans to open six more next year in places like Singapore, Jakarta and Beijing. He counts Oprah, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cameron Diaz, Katie Holmes and hundreds of other Hollywood stars among his loyal clientele. Christian Louboutin is just as solicitous of his less famous customers Christian Louboutin. At a recent personal appearance at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City, he canceled his flight back to Paris in order to spend another two hours signing shoes. For a woman who confessed that she was “just a housewife,” Christian Louboutin signed the sole, TO MY FAVORITE HOT HOUSEWIFE. A blushing bride asked him to sign her wedding shoes, and he grabbed a blue pen and wrote, HERE IS SOMETHING BLUE. According to Saks’ fashion director’ Michael Fink, Christian Louboutin’s shoes–which retail on average for $800–are one of the store’s top-selling brands. “It’s the mystique of the extremely sexy pump,” says Fink. “And, of course, the subtle branding of the red sole really helps Cheap christian louboutin.” More than a cunning marketing concept, the red sole was a happy accident. While working on a prototype in his studio in his early designing days, Christian Louboutin searched for a way to match the shoe to a colorful sketch. “Something was missing, and I couldn’t figure it out,” he remembers. “Then I realized that the black sole of the shoe was too dark.” So he grabbed a bottle of red nail polish from an assistant who was doing her nails nearby and painted the soles. “It didn’t take me long to learn from my customers that the red soles were very popular with men,” Louboutin says, laughing. “This red sole was a bit of a green light.” While women have always been his predominant inspiration, Christian Louboutin, a landscape and garden fanatic, often looks to nature for ideas. Starting out, he tried covering his shoes in fish scales . Another, more successful idea was embedding hydrangea petals in a clear silicone heel. He even tapped into the recycling trend with his “trash” shoes, which incorporated old mro tickets and caf?receipts in the heels. “He looks at everything,” says his close friend Diane von Furstenberg. “His shoes are like sculptures, objects, jewels.” But Christian Louboutin knows that women’s most desired treasures are the ones they can wear. .