Skip to content

Sole Desire: The Shoes of Christian Louboutin

Start Date 13 March 2008
End Date 19 April 2008
Venue The Museum at FIT
Location New York, USA
Curator Whitney A. Jones and Julie Ann Orsini
Designer Alyssa Panetta and George W. Veale VI

Christian Louboutin’s red-soled shoes have combined wit, glamour, and a certain “je ne sais quoi” to embody the perfect blend of sex appeal and beauty. The first exhibition to examine the career of this influential designer, Sole Desire: The Shoes of Christian Louboutin, will be on view at The Museum at FIT March 13 through April 19, 2008. It is organized and curated by FIT graduate students in the Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice Master of Arts program.

The exhibition will showcase examples of Louboutin’s work from the collection of The Museum at FIT and the archive of Christian Louboutin. Not only will it highlight his innovative designs, but it will illustrate his understanding of today’s clientele and his contributions to contemporary fashion.

Born in 1963, Louboutin began his career early, sketching shoes at age 11. Frequenting nightclubs during his formative years, he was forever influenced by their high fashion and glamour. In 1988, after freelancing for design houses such as Maud Frizon, Chanel, and Yves Saint-Laurent, Louboutin joined Roger Vivier, a legend in shoe design, where he learned the importance of presentation. In 1989, after finishing his work with Vivier, Louboutin took a leave from fashion to work as a landscape designer. He successfully returned to the industry in 1992 with a collection of his own that integrated an Asian influence and the inspiration of gardens in the designs of his shoes and boutiques.

As his career developed, this designer brought the seductive stiletto out of the closet and into mainstream society, carrying along with it ideas of sexuality and eroticism that characterize the style of the Louboutin shoe.

About The Museum at FIT
Founded in 1967, The Museum at FIT is one of the world’s most important fashion museums and is best known for its innovative and award-winning exhibitions. In addition, it houses the Fashion and Textile History Gallery, which presents a new exhibition every six months, showcasing garments from the museum’s extensive permanent collection.

The permanent collection contains approximately 50,000 garments and accessories dating from the 18th century, with strong emphasis on 20th– century designer fashions. The textile collection, with more than 30,000 textiles, 250,000 swatches, and about 1,500 sample books, dates from the sixth century to the present and illustrates a broad variety of techniques and traditions from around the world.

The Museum at FIT is located on the southwest corner of Seventh Avenue at 27th Street. Exhibition hours are Tuesday through Friday, noon to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Sundays, Mondays and legal holidays. Admission is free. For museum information call (212) 217-4558 or go to For further press information, contact the Office of Communications and External Relations at (212) 217-4700. Visuals are available upon request via mail or e-mail.