Christian Louboutin: Tattooed Shoes


How does Christian Louboutin, master of the red-soled shoes and innovative fashion icon, stay one step ahead of the saturated designer footwear game? Already a household name known for shoes that range from demure to sensuous and classic to bold, Louboutin introduces the next in must-have shoe fetishism (of which we are all guilty). Just when we thought we could keep up, Louboutin proves yet again that he deserves to triumph over the competition by opening up Tattoo Parlor, an introduction to a truly customizable and personalized footwear experience.

Few things are more personal than tattoos and the reasons why we get them. A tattoo often holds a special message or memory that means enough to preserve and celebrate through needle and ink permanently onto our skin in order to keep it close. As Louboutin sees it, “A lot of my friends have tattoos. I realized that it’s not only just a part of pop culture but a bit of a map on someone’s body, which says something about people. A part of their life, like an armor or a crest.”

Drawing inspiration from bespoke smoking slippers, you can now get your tattoo on your Loubs. Yes. Your tattoo and not some mass-produced generic print, as that would definitely go against the Louboutin signature style of originality.

Make an appointment at the bespoke service Tattoo Parlor nearest you, available in the Christian Louboutin Men’s locations in New York, London, Paris, and, most recently, Los Angeles.

You submit a picture of the tattoo you would like to use, and it gets sent to Paris, where it receives an artist’s interpretation that fits your requirements—which can get pretty specific. Choose styles that range from classically elegant to modern and sporty. Select the material, color, embroidery style (Outline & Shine, Color, or Color & Relief ), and beadwork.

This truly global shoe travels the world before coming back— pretty, polished and customized—ready for your waiting feet. The whole process takes about three months to complete, so best to plan ahead. While the artwork is designed in Paris, the expert eye and hands of Italian artisans create and construct the perfect shoe, and the final touches of intricate embroidery and fine beadwork are done by hand in Chennai, India.


And don’t be scared away by the leather walls, flickering neon signs, and decidedly masculine décor of the macho Tattoo Parlor, for it should already be evident this isn’t your run-of-the-mill, grimy ink shop. It may only be in select men’s locations, but Louboutin wouldn’t leave his original and most devoted fans out of this cutting-edge venture. Ladies also get to partake in four different shoe styles to choose from. Options include the classic Rollergirl flat, the Louis sneaker, the Belle ankle boot, and of course, the sky-high platform pump appropriately named the Highness.

The final design is sent to you for approval, and 90 short days later, you are the proud owner of a pair of completely one-of-akind Louboutins. A must for every shoe, style, and luxury fanatic, these enviable customized kicks prove it—Christian Louboutin has got a mean shoe game.

Available exclusively in select boutiques.

Text by Ida Hsiang