Christian Louboutin is a French fashion designer whose high-end stiletto footwear incorporates shiny, red-lacquered soles that have become his signature. Initially a freelance designer for fashion houses, he started his own shoe salon in Paris, with his shoes finding favor with celebrity clientele. Going on to serve as a freelance designer, Louboutin designed women's shoes for Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and Maud Frizon.
With funds from two backers, he 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, those interested in his stiletto heels have included Christina Aguilera, Shirley Coates, Joan Collins, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Tina Turner, Marion Cotillard, Nicki Minaj, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Blake Lively. Sarah Jessica Parker wore a pair of shoes by Louboutin for her wedding. Britney Spears wears a pair of high-heeled Louboutins in her music video "If U Seek Amy" that were not available for sale until a month after the video was released.
Louboutin has topped the Luxury Institute's annual Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) for three years; the brand's offerings were declared the Most Prestigious Women's Shoes in 2007, 2008, and 2009.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 heel heights of 120 mm (4.72 inches) and higher. The designer's professed goal has been to "make a woman look sexy, beautiful, to make her legs look as long as [he] can".