One of the unforgettable milestones in your network marketing career, at least for women, is when you reach the level of success that requires you to go out and buy your first pair of Christian Louboutin shoes.
Depending on your company culture and personal priorities, it can happen one year into the business, or it can take 12 years. In some rare cases, it doesn’t happen at all, because, by the time you reach the appropriate level of success, you sadly have developed an intolerance for anything not designed for comfort.
We’ve all seen them parading down the red carpet and up the stage, framing the feet of top-performing presenters and panelists. Most women will agree it is a true pride to own a pair of mind-blowing, envious neck-twisting, and breath-taking Christian Louboutin shoes.
Ranging from $600 up to over $2,000, these shoes can hardly be called a staple footwear. However, many network marketing top achievers, if not owning them already, hold a vision and are on the way of saving up for this stunning framework for our feet.
I always wondered, who is Christian Louboutin? What’s the story behind the shoes? A little research led me to find out some cool things—including that one of the famous shoemaker’s goals is to empower women by helping them break out of their mold. I knew you’d like that, so here is the rest of the story.
Christian Louboutin was born in 1964 (a “wooden dragon,” like Eric Worre, Kody Batemen, Joe Kenemore, and moi). Raised in Paris’s 12th arrondissement with his three sisters, he is the only son of Roger, an ébeniste (artisan cabinet-maker) and Irene, a homemaker, both from Brittany.
“I was much darker-skinned than everyone else in my family,” says Christian. “I decided I had probably been adopted. Instead of feeling it was terrible and that I was an outsider, I invented my own history, full of characters from Egypt, because I was into the pharaohs.”
Later Christian discovered that his biological father was in fact, an Egyptian, with whom his mother Irene had been having a secret affair.
Louboutin was expelled from school three times and then decided to run away at the age of 12, at which point his mother allowed him to move out to live at a friend’s house. He faced much opposition when he decided to drop out of school.
Louboutin began sketching shoes in his early teens, ignoring his academic studies. He was also a fixture on the city’s party scene, clubbing his nights away alongside Mick Jagger and Andy Warhol. His little formal training included drawing and decorative arts at the Académie des Arts.
Louboutin claims his fascination with shoes began in 1976, when he visited the Musée National des Arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie. He saw a sign from Africa forbidding women wearing sharp stilettos from entering a building for fear of damage to the expensive wood flooring.
This image stayed in his mind, and he later used it to fuel his passion for creating shoe designs. “I wanted to defy that,” Louboutin said. “I wanted to create something that broke rules and made women feel confident and empowered.”
Fascinated by world cultures, Louboutin spent time in Egypt and India. He returned to Paris in 1981, where he assembled a portfolio of drawings of elaborate high heels. He brought it to the top couture houses, which resulted in him being hired by Charles Jourdan. Later he became a freelance designer of women’s shoes for Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and Maud Frizon.
Louboutin opened a Paris shoe salon in 1991 with Princess Caroline of Monaco as his first customer. She complimented the store one day when a fashion journalist was present, and the journalist’s subsequent publication of Princess’ comments helped greatly to increase Louboutin’s renown.
Clients such as Diane von Fürstenberg and Catherine Deneuve followed. Later came Christina Aguilera, Joan Collins, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Tina Turner, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Blake Lively. Sarah Jessica Parker wore a pair of Louboutins for her wedding and Britney Spears wears them in her music video “If U Seek Amy.” By 2011, Louboutin became the most searched-for shoe brand online.
Louboutin helped bring stilettos back into fashion in the 1990s and 2000s, designing dozens of styles with 4.5 inch heels and higher. The designer’s professed goal has been to “make a woman look sexy, beautiful, to make her legs look as long as possible.” I’d like to believe his unspoken intent was to help women stand tall and feel on top of the world.
I’m not sure if I’ll ever own a pair of Louboutins, but I like this guy. Now that I know his story, I will never look at those red-soled spiked heels the same way. As long as they don’t hurt your feet (recommended wear is brief periods of time), I applaud you for embracing this symbol of extraordinariness. Whatever works to make us feel strong and beautiful, invincible and unstoppable.
To all powerful women in network marketing, we say, “Go get your Louboutins and click your heels!”
Dr. Josephine Gross is Cofounder and Editor in Chief of Networking Times. Originally from Belgium, she came to the U.S. to complete her Ph.D. at Stanford University. Together with her husband Chris, she founded Networking Times in 2001. Josephine interviews top income earners from all over the world, asking them exactly how they built their businesses so readers can instantly benefit and shorten their learning curve to achieve success.