Get ready to have a Cinderella moment: thanks to a new made-to-measure option, you can create your very own, customizable pair of Christian Louboutins.
It’s the experience of a lifetime: pack your Louis Vuitton trunks and head to Paris, where you’ll visit the Louboutin Atelier, which is located in the 1st Arrondissement. From there, once you enter Louboutin’s inner sanctum, the Atelier director measures your feet at more than a dozen key points. You will then step into foam moulds, creating detailed, three-dimensional imprints of your feet to ensure a perfect fit.
Next, you’ll select your preferred silhouette, including heel height and toe shape, as well as your desired material and embellishments. Each shoe style, including Louboutin classics like the Pigalle, Fifi and So Kate, requires a different, custom-made last, and all embellishments—such as bows, sequins or strass—are applied painstakingly by hand.
After you select your last, our artisans begin the meticulous work of Last Adjustment, or the sculpting of three-dimensional casts of your foot. The process (that you’re part of, at least) ends with the addition of layers of leather to a standard shoe last and reshaping them to match the measurements of your feet.
You’ll then bid the Atelier a fond adieu (and are free to roam the streets of Paris) while the artisans create the first draft of your shoe by hand in leather, no matter the final materials selected. All of the elements are hand-cut to your specifications, and then passed along to another specialist for sewing and assembly.
Luckily, the sixth part of the process has you returning to the City of Lights. When the first shoe is complete, you’ll return to the Atelier for a private fitting. Know that several drafts of the shoe might require additional trips to the French capitol, as the artisans make their adjustments before creating your perfect, fairytale shoe.
But the process doesn’t stop there. The cut and sewn elements are brought together with the structural elements of your shoe. The upper, or top of the shoe, is given three-dimensional form by stretching and positioning it on the last, which was sculpted earlier in the process. At this stage, the shoe is nearly finished…with the exception of special embellishments (such as the hand-placed strass crystals seen above).
Once the design, development and finishing processes have concluded, your shoes, made to measure for you then go through bichonnage, or a final quality check by the Atelier. The final steps: the brand’s signature red-laquered soles will be placed on the shoe, and Christian Louboutin himself will give final approval on the finished product.
Et voila! Not only do you have a completely unique pair of Louboutins, but you’ve also had one of the most unique experiences in the world. The shoes cost a pretty penny, but the experience alone is priceless.