Barneys threw quite the bash last night to fete Christian Louboutin and his new book, the eponymously titled Christian Louboutin, which celebrates his 20 years in the business. The guests, almost without exception wearing the distinctive red-soled stunners, included Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Blake Lively, Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keyes, and Calvin Klein.
We had a chance to catch up with the man himself, and while he understandably didn’t want to discuss his increasingly contentious lawsuit with YSL, he was more than happy to talk about how women wear shoes, that comment about the connection between orgasms and shoes, and whether or not heels are phallic:
What have you learned in the last 20 years about women and how they wear shoes?
I haven’t learned anything that I didn’t already know [before I started]. It was a reflection of what I saw in my childhood. I would always see my sisters looking at themselves in the mirror. Before looking at the shoes, they were looking at themselves–from the front, from the back–it’s a thing that I’ve seen with clients. Putting on shoes is not looking at shoes, it’s about looking at your whole figure.
Do you have a favorite pair from the last 20 years?
It’s complicated, but it switches. You like things for different reasons. I wouldn’t say that the only reason is because of the design. It could also be because the shoe reminds me of something great or of a very good friend of mine or reminds me of a moment when I was very specifically happy. I can’t isolate it to one.
You made a lot of headlines last week when you said your shoes make women look like they’re having an orgasm. How did you come up with that theory?
Well, I was discussing this with a woman and she was asking if I thought the heel was the symbol of a phallus, and I said, ‘I don’t think so. I never understood why people would think the heel was a representation of a phallus. It doesn’t LOOK like a phallus.’ And after saying that she said, ‘I totally agree with you. The sexual representation in the shoe is not the heel, it’s in a different thing. It’s in the position of the foot on the shoe.’ And this very, very high arch is basically exactly the position of people’s feet [while they're] having orgasms, not only women but also men. And I thought, well, actually you’re right.
So there you have it. Here’s to Christian Louboutin and another 20 years of his orgasmic shoes. Click through to see a gallery of some of the glam attendees from last night.
Photos: Billy Farrell/BFA