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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sole-Searching

By Franklin Melendez...

It is a universal truth that Christian Louboutin's signature red soles have become the must-have heels of sole-less social creatures everywhere. From Lauren Davis to Blair Waldorf, nary a gossip girl around town would forego that extra skip in her step, courtesy of a crimson flash. But these are dire times—so dire that the line between fact and fiction is blurred. Take Gossip Girl's own economic meltdowns in season two. Money laundering? Bad investments? Phoney companies? Escapes from the FBI? The fate of the Archibalds could easily be ripped from real headlines.

Still, the master cobbler isn't letting a few Dow downturns tarnish his style. Take his new Manhattan showroom, engineered by glitzy studio 212box—which also design his stores—completed on an extreme budget. If "extreme budget" and Louboutin seem like an unlikely pairing, it goes to show that desperate times call for resourcefulness. With found and collected objects used for décor, from a collection of leaves gathered in Cairo to salvaged stained-glass panels from old JFK terminals, the space provides an eclectic setting for Louboutin's sumptuous offerings—a juxtaposition of high and low, rustic and charming. Like when Nate squats at his parent's foreclosed manse.



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