Baring His Sole

Christian Louboutin gets his first solo exhibition at The Museum at FIT
Tuesday, January 15, 2008

(NEW YORK) Christian Louboutin's date with Oprah Winfrey on her show this afternoon isn't the only coup the shoe maestro can boast about. The iconic and witty designer known the world over for his signature red soles will receive his first solo exhibition this spring, courtesy of the Fashion Institute of Technology. "Sole Desire: The Shoes of Christian Louboutin," which will examine the career of the influential 44-year-old designer, will be on view at The Museum at FIT from March 13 through April 19. Organized and curated by FIT graduate students in the Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice Master of Arts program, the exhibition will showcase examples of Louboutin's work from both the collection of The Museum at FIT and his own.

"It seemed to me that Christian has reached a new level both of brilliant design and of recognition; it's been quite a few years that people who are fashion insiders have admired his work, but it seemed to me he was really, really on a roll and this will be a fantastic moment, in a way, to launch him in the museum world because he's moving onward and upward fast," said Valerie Steele, director of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. "I personally was excited about doing something contemporary, and as a fashion museum, we try to focus on what's moving fashion forward and what's cutting-edge, and that's what he's doing for shoes."

Louboutin's passion for footwear started before he was even a teenager; by the age of 11, he was already sketching shoes. In 1988, after freelancing for design houses like Maud Frizon, Chanel, and Yves Saint Laurent, Louboutin joined Roger Vivier. In 1989, he took a leave from fashion to work as a landscape designer, and returned to the industry in 1992 with his first collection, which integrated Asian influences with garden inspirations.