Almost all the red soles that strut out of Monsieur Christian Louboutin’s atelier are instant, guaranteed mood-boosters. Much like the great man himself, the shoes he has become synonymous with are feelgood, fabulous, but more importantly, full of stories. His handbags – an equally successful arm of the business that he added in 2003 – are no exception, with the latest in his line-up the result of a glorious Ancient Egyptian fantasy-turned-reality.
Elisa bag, Dhs6,850, Christian Louboutin
Elisa – named after Christian’s goddaughter, the model, philanthropist and entrepreneur Elisa Sednaoui Dellal, is an insight into the inner workings of the designer’s brain.
The bag references the architectural lines of Luxor’s Amun Temple
“Sometimes, when I’m drawing I don’t know where I go. It’s only when it’s done that I realise it looks Asian or Egyptian…” he tells us, no doubt channelling his own North African heritage – albeit one he only discovered in 2014 on finding that his biological father was actually Egyptian.
The lock is an interpretation of a protective scarab talisman
Having grown up in France feeling that he looked a little different to the rest of his family, he said, “I decided they had probably adopted me. But instead of feeling it was terrible… I invented my own history, full of characters from Egypt because I was very into the pharaohs.”
The gold clasp is reminiscent of a pharaoh’s cartouche, traditionally used to circle their throne and birth names
“I thought I was adopted so I imagined myself as a pharaoh’s son. “Nefertiti, pyramids, hieroglyphs… I dreamed about them every day,” Christian explains. Now that’s a story.
From the September 2019 issue of Harper's Bazaar Arabia