Christian Louboutin:

the upcycled collection

CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN: THE UPCYCLED COLLECTION

We speak to the famed footwear designer about his exclusive-to-Selfridges upcycled collection and the denim icons that inspired him

We speak to the famed footwear designer about his exclusive-to-Selfridges upcycled collection and the denim icons that inspired him

Words: Chekii Harling Photography: Simonas Berukstis

You can always rely on Christian Louboutin to inject a splash of fun into fashion. Famed for his trademark red-soled stilettos, the footwear icon has long mastered the balance between quiet elegance and eye-catching pizazz, with everyone from Princess Caroline of Monaco to Cardi B wearing his designs. This season, Louboutin has stepped forward once again to serve us a brilliant (and exclusive to Selfridges) capsule collection for men and women – a six-piece line-up inspired by signature styles from the Louboutin archive, crafted from upcycled denim, complete with original jean pocket detailing. A melding of 90s-inspired style and repurposed materials? Yes please.

To celebrate the launch of this exclusive-to-Selfridges collection, we caught up with Christian Louboutin himself to discuss all things denim.

Why did you choose to work with upcycled denim and where was it sourced?  

Everybody has old jeans they dream of keeping, but the shape could be dated, it’s always a complicated decision to get rid of your old jeans. I was really excited to work with Selfridges on Project Earth and its aim to reinvent retail, by giving denim jeans another life and reducing waste. We worked with the global charity Caritas Internationalis who helped us source the denim. Supporting upcycling was really interesting, I wanted to reimagine jeans as a wardrobe staple for your feet.

What drew you to working with denim for this collection? 

Denim is like black, always present somewhere, it’s a classic. It’s rare to not see it in a crowd.

What’s your favourite era for denim? 

I love Marlboro’s advertising with the cowboys, the adverts that used Richard Prince’s artworks remain my favourite.



Back in 1998, I created a Trash Mule, made from rubbish using items you would find in a woman’s bag: buttons, metro tickets, post-it notes, pieces of newspaper... Don’t waste anything!

– Christian Louboutin
Who are your denim style icons?

Jane Birkin in the 70s, Brokeback Mountain, Marilyn Monroe in The Misfits, Jimmy Hendrix on stage, and of course James Dean in East of Eden

How would you recommend wearing these pieces? 

The whole idea of denim is that you wear it your way. It’s attached to your body shape, your personality, and how you feel about denim. It’s all down to your individual, personal desire.

What kind of energy do you think these pieces bring to an outfit?

Definitely a cool attitude and the joy of looking at your one-of-a-kind piece at your feet. 

What are your thoughts on the idea that visible repurposing is becoming more fashionable? 

The different layers formed by the pockets, zips, and the double-stitching are all part of the denim DNA. For this collection, the stitching and pocket details found on each piece make them unique due to the upcycled nature of the material – no two [are] alike, so there’s a really beautiful story within each piece.



I was really excited to work with Selfridges on Project Earth and its aim to reinvent retail, by giving denim jeans another life.

– Christian Louboutin
What lies behind your decision to name the shoes Kate, Elisa, Viera, and Louis for this collection?

Friendship of course. It became a kind of a tradition for me to name new styles after people or places that inspired me or with some typically French, often naughty puns. 

Who did you have in mind when designing these pieces?  

First, my boyfriend who’s Portuguese and looks great in jeans, and Dolly Parton who learned that denim is a mark of nobility. 

What are the Louboutin silhouettes and what consistently inspires you to return to these shapes? 

It’s either because they are requested by my clients or because I adore them. The ‘So Kate’ for example became one of the signatures of the brand, it’s very simple, very pure. The simpler it is, the more complex it is to design because you don’t have any artifice to hide behind – no embroideries, sequins or mixed fabrics… it took me years to get this result. The So Kate style is a blank page that I can reinvent every season.



I was inspired by Dolly Parton who learned that denim is a mark of nobility.

– Christian Louboutin
Powered by Translations.com GlobalLink OneLink SoftwarePowered By OneLink