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But no, Christian Louboutin greets me with a big, bright smile. He's in a gregarious mood, despite not having a moment's rest since he arrived buy isabel marant on Irish shores. He has spent much of the day in Brown Thomas's shoe room meeting a legion of loyal and deep-pocketed fans.
He starts by waxing lyrical about Ireland, so perhaps it's his surroundings that have him in such good form. Or maybe, (and more likely) it's to do with the fact that he's one of fashion's biggest success stories and thus has amassed an immeasurable fortune.
But credit where credit's due, Christian Louboutin (pronounced Loo-boo-tan) is a genius. The man knows how to make sexy shoes. And that's important. If you're in any doubt as to his stature, he was recently included in Time magazine's 100 most influential people. He has collaborated with the world's finest designers including Lanvin, Jean Paul Gaultier and Dolce Gabanna. His trademark lacquered mulberry sale red soles have encased the feet of some of the world's most famous women. Currently, mulberry sale he sells in 46 countries. As a woman of small stature myself, being at a good eye-line mulberry uk level with Louboutin made for easy conversing. Forty-four-year-old Monsieur Louboutin is wearing a grey chequered suit, a light blue Lacoste T-shirt and neon yellow Converse runners. It's daring and eccentric, but then again, would you expect anything less?
The bald, diminutive and pensive Frenchman lounges back on the couch awaiting questioning, one foot on the floor, the other pulled close to his chest.
Born in 1963, Louboutin comes from modest beginnings, having grown up in working-class banlieues of Paris. He has four older sisters, whom he credits with giving him an mulberry bags sale insight into the female psyche. From a very early age he was consumed by a passion for shoes. He began his apprenticeship at Les Folies Bergere in Paris. His first bona fide sortie into celine handbags the world of design came about while working for shoe designer Roger Vivier. Following that, he freelanced for various fashion houses including Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. However, he's the type of man who likes being in control.
"I stopped designing shoes at 25 because I was fed up working with people. isabel marant sneakers I was fed up having things [designs] distorted. I thought if I'm not in control of it, I'm not necessarily excited by it. So I started to do landscaping, and by accident I was buying a piece of furniture in a gallery and the dealer, asked: 'What about the shoes?' He said, take the shop isabel marant store at the end of the gallery and I thought, why not? So I took it. It started like that". He opened his first boutique in 1992.
Louboutin is prone to fortunate accidents. His signature red soles also came about serendipitously after he was inspired while watching his assistant paint her nails a vibrant shade of scarlet. With that, his identity was born -- one that has secured a following of cult-like proportions.
For the uninitiated, (whom I imagine are few and far between), a pair of Louboutins is flagrantly flashy and decadent -- not for the bashful. Though Louboutin designs every style of shoe, he's best known and loved for the more vertiginous kind, some of which stretch beyond five inches.
Louboutins have become a status symbol. You always know when a woman is wearing a pair. The red sole makes it impossible not to, which is exactly why women buy them. The average pair will set you back about 550, but rest assured that figure can go well beyond 1,000. His collection for autumn/winter is quite simply stunning. We are interrupted mid-interview by an American couple (from Texas, I think), who enquire in their strangulated southern drawl, "Are you Mr Louboutin?". They request a photo with him. The wife is a big fan and boasts countless pairs. But she needn't have thought that by petting his ego so adoringly she was going to a get a freebie. He doesn't do them.
He doesn't care who or what you are, he believes that you should pay. So when you see Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman and other Hollywood stars sporting a pair, you can guarantee, they have dished out for the privilege. "If you go to isabel marant shoes see a shrink, you pay for your shrink, otherwise it doesn't work. If everything is given to you, then this desire you may have of desperately wanting that thing is going to collapse," he says.
In fashion design, one of the downsides of achievement is mass imitation. It was almost inevitable that Louboutin would be copied in terms of both his trademark and his designs. "I try not to be surrounded by negativity because it doesn't help. I'm a very positive person. I try not to think about it. But when it's a knock-off of your work and a rip-off of your identity, of course it's really annoying". Annoying though it may be, he doesn't get involved in the legal argy-bargy, leaving that to his lawyers. Louboutin's red soles were officially trademarked in January 2008.
Having become the world's most famous cobbler and with his vast fortune made, would he consider selling up and living the high-life aboard a fancy yacht. "How old do you think I am, 99?", he asks shop isabel marant in a tone that indicates he's less-than-impressed with my question. After mild rephrasing/ damage-limitation on my part, he continues, "I want to retire from a certain aspect of it. Like, I am not necessarily interested in seeing if we do a franchise or a new branch somewhere, I don't care. Somebody can take care of that. I would rather concentrate on my favourite part, what I'm best at -- which is designing, doing projects and nourishing my imagination ".
According to Louboutin, there are certain attributes that make a woman sexy. "Her attitude, her confidence, but certainly a good pair of shoes helps things and a man who loves her." If only life were that easy.
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