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Christian Louboutin, Shoe Designer and Stylish Traveler

Courtesy of One & Only Resorts

Home base: Paris
Profession: Shoe Designer

Alexandra Marshall

“In two days I’ll be in Italy,” says French shoe designer Christian Louboutin, describing a recent two-week travel schedule. “Then I go to Morocco for a day, then Moscow, Dubai, Monaco, London, Amman, Cairo, and finally back to Paris.” With itineraries like this, how does Louboutin find time to design his trademark red-soled stilettos and platforms?“It’s all part of the process. Travel puts me in a creative mood,” says the designer, who draws inspiration from the colors he sees on trips to India, and in the Spanish gardens he often visits in Andalusia. Louboutin owns a flat in Paris’s first arrondissement, a houseboat on the Nile, and a house outside of Luxor, but to unwind, he heads to the One & Only Reethi Rah, a private-island resort in the Maldives. “It’s one of the rare places where I can really cool down. It’s like being in an enchanted forest—but with no snakes!” In fact, Louboutin is such a fan that he’s partnered with One & Only to create a line of espadrilles, to be sold at their resorts in the Maldives, Los Cabos, the Bahamas, Dubai, and Mauritius, and at Louboutin’s London and New York boutiques. “Espadrilles are the perfect shoe for dressing up on vacation,” he says. The festive colors of these flats, wedges, and platforms are meant to be shown off under the holiday sun, but they make for a pretty nice souvenir back home, too.

Louboutin’s Favorite Spots

Rennes-les-Bains, France

Roches Tremblantes

“Languedoc-Roussillon has such a mysterious landscape. The ‘trembling rocks’ are a natural phenomenon and inspired my imagination as a child.”

Granada, Spain

Generalife Gardens

“The ponds here are gorgeous against the citadel.”

Luxor, Egypt

Hotel Al Moudira

“Before I owned property in Egypt, I always stayed here—it feels like a family home.”

Fatehpur Sikri, India

“This deserted sandstone city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh is a must-see.”

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Christian Louboutin To Open Store in Houston

Christian Louboutin
Christian Louboutin.
FN archives

Red soles are heading to Houston. Designer Christian Louboutin has signed on to take a retail space in the city’s Galleria complex. The boutique, which will be his first in Houston and 19th in the U.S., is set to open this fall.

According to Galleria owner Simon Property Group, the store will stock Louboutin’s luxurious selection of shoes for both men and women, as well as handbags and small leather goods.

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The designer will be in good company among the other new luxury tenants that have joined The Galleria’s roster of more than 80 retailers. La Perla and Tod’s recently launched stores there, while The Webster will open its first boutique outside of Florida there in November. And Celine is set to make its Houston debut in 2016.

Simon Property has been hard at work on a $250 million refresh of the 45-year-old shopping-and-entertainment destination. It’s updating the mall’s luxury wing to make room for a new Saks Fifth Avenue flagship that’s set to be complete by spring 2016. And as part of the redevelopment, the Galleria will add 110,000 square feet of new space and a 14,000-sq.-ft. freestanding retail building.

John Rulli, COO of malls and chief administrative officer for Simon, said, “There is significant consumer demand for luxury retailers [in Houston]. … We are extremely committed to providing our shoppers with an unrivaled shopping experience that includes preeminent retail stores and restaurants.”

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Business, Retail, Christian Louboutin, Simon Property Group, North America