While some feminists see vertiginous heels as sexual enslavement, Christian Louboutin believes the opposite—even if it means women have to walk slowly and carefully in his iconic red-soled creations.
"Women do not want to give up wearing high heels," the designer told AFP before The Exhibitionist, a retrospective of his 30-year career, opened in a Paris museum last Wednesday. While Louboutin also makes trainers and flat shoes, he admitted that when it comes to the spike-heeled classics that made his name: "I don't think about comfort when I design."
"No shoe with a 12cm (5 inch) heel is comfortable... but people do not come to me looking for a pair of slippers," said Louboutin, who helped bring high heels back into fashion in the 1990s and 2000s.
They are not meant to be worn all the time, but super high heels allow women to express themselves and break free of crushing norms, he said.
"To be a woman is also about enjoying one's freedom to be feminine if you want. Why renounce [high heels] when you can have them and flats," he said.