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High and spry on heels

Updated: 2012-11-26 17:19
By Xu Junqian in Shanghai ( China Daily)

High and spry on heels

Elegant heels are defined by Christian Louboutin. Photos provided to China Daily

Completely dressed in the scarlet of his signature red-soled stilettos, Christian Louboutin recently accepted the International Best Accessory Designer award presented by ELLE Style in Shanghai.

It was the first time the 49-year-old shoe designer has received an award at the fashion gala, founded by ELLE magazine UK in 1997.

In 2008, the event debuted in Shanghai and has become an annual fashion fest honoring those "working behind the glamour and glitz of the fashion industry."

At the ceremony, held in a huge white tent in Fuxing Park, a France-inspired garden, Louboutin merely said, "Thank you, merci beaucoup, xiexie".

Louboutin, the son of a carpenter, a school dropout and party animal, started sketching shoes in his teens and established his eponymous shoe brand at 28.

A passionate advocate of a feminine, sexy style, due in part to his early work experience as an assistant to dancing girls in Paris night clubs, Louboutin is famed for his 4.72-inch-heel (12 cm) shoes with shiny, red-lacquered soles.

His ironic design earned him an international reputation that rivals his former boss, Roger Vivier. It also led to a red-sole lawsuit against the French luxury house Yves Saint Laurent.

Louboutin claims his red soles idea was inspired by his female assistant polishing her nails red.

"I love shoes, and the thing I love about shoes is the sound. When I hear the sound of a stiletto, it's one sound; when I hear the sound of a boots, it's another thing," Louboutin was quoted as saying at a shoe store opening in Beijing, in July.

One of his pet hates is the "unisex clog", which he believes makes both men and women walk "like a camel in the desert".

Other winners honored at the event included the Dutch fashion designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, as International Best Fashion Designers. Swiss photographer Benoit Peverelli was International Best Photographer, and the Chinese-American jewelry designer Anna Hu was crowned Best Jewelry Designer of the Year.