Style & Grooming

Inside Christian Louboutin’s Circus-Themed Paris Party

The ‘LoubiCircus’ arrived in Paris during Men’s Fashion Week. Here, alongside an exclusive film, Christian Louboutin tells us more

This article was created in partnership with Christian Louboutin.

During Paris Fashion Week Men’s last month, Christian Louboutin’s ‘LoubiCircus’ rolled into town, celebrating – in suitably showman-like style – the reveal of the designer’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection for men. Taking over the apt setting of Paris’ Musée des Arts Forains, a museum dedicated to curiosities collected from the funfairs and circuses of la Belle Epoque, the new collection was presented via a series of colourful and immersive installations. “I’ve always been mesmerised by the circus,” Louboutin, who visited the museum often as a child, tells Another Man. 

The collection itself sees the addition of numerous pairs of sneakers – many decorated with Louboutin’s signature spiked studs – including the ‘Happy Rui’, inspired by tennis shoes of the 1970s, and a particular favourite of Mr Louboutin. “I played on the vintage feel and reworked the classic logo as a nod to varsity uniforms,” he says. “Now that sneakers are so much part of the everyday culture I’ve started designing a different sneaker for different occasions, from the red carpet to the dancefloor!” The house also debuted its men’s ‘Nudes’ collection – following the women’s Nudes collection which began in 2013 – with sliders, loafers, sneakers and espadrilles, available in eight different skin-coloured shades. “I’ve always seen nude as a concept rather than a colour,” Louboutin says. 

In the evening, a carnival-like party followed, with a performance from legendary house musician Robin S enjoyed by guests including Darren Criss, Maluma, Riverdale’s Charles Melton, Isamaya Ffrench and James Massiah among others (the circus’ usual amusements were in full flow too, from candy floss and carousels to dramatic aerial performances). Here, Louboutin talks his enduring love of the circus, the new collection and what he’s most proud of, alongside a look inside the LoubiCircus in a film for Another Man by Amanda Louise Macchia.

Another Man: Tell us a little bit about why you are celebrating...

Christian Louboutin: I’ve always been mesmerised by the circus and the funfair aesthetic – the way they combine colours and textures, the way they find tricks to catch the light and make things looking extremely beautiful. This universe has been part of my creative process since my childhood and still a source of inspiration today.

AM: When you first launched menswear, what was it that you wanted to achieve? 

CL: For a long time, I wasn’t very interested in designing men’s shoes. At the time, the [men’s] market in my mind was very formal and traditional – I didn’t feel there was a demand and a space for me to express myself. Until I received a call from the pop singer Mika. He grew up surrounded by women; some of them wore my designs and he saw something happening each time they wore my shoes. He asked me to create some bespoke styles for his tour. That’s when I realised that men’s shoes were not just classic, and black. It helped me understand that men also need some of the things that have long been associated with women – creativity, bold colours, textures, patterns – and these first few styles turned organically into my first collection for men.

AM: What have been some of your proudest moments since launching menswear?

CL: A clear defining moment was when I learnt that my designs were very in demand by sportsmen. I didn’t expect it – I was always thinking of showmen and singers when designing my collections. Then I realised that top athletes like Kobe Bryant and Cristiano Ronaldo are exactly that: when they play at the top of their game they are just like performers on stage, they give it their all and they are beautiful to watch.

AM: How do you think men’s relationship to fashion, and specifically footwear, has evolved in the last ten years?

CL: Men used to have a very different approach to footwear than women, they got attached to one style they loved, and kept it for years. Now they have realised that a woman’s approach to fashion – and also beauty – is much more fun. Choosing a different pair of shoes allows you to show all different sides of your personality and I like to think that my collections include something special for everyone.

AM: How do you begin making a new style?

CL: When I design for women, I see a foot, a leg – it’s not only the shoe. Designing men’s shoes is more about designing an object. You’re thinking differently and designing with angles; with women, you’re designing with curves.

AM: Finally, tell us a bit about the Spring/Summer 2020 collection.

CL: This collection sees the introduction of many sneakers. Now that sneakers are so much part of everyday life I’ve started designing a different sneaker for different occasions, from the red carpet to the dancefloor! Another important message is how I’ve always seen nude as a concept rather than a colour – I started the first Nudes collection in 2013, and I felt now the time was right to extend it to menswear. 

My collections are always an accumulation of more or less conscious inspirations, with a recurrent creative vocabulary: a mix of travelling, the performing arts and different people I meet from all around the world. To nourish my inspiration, I always try to live with open eyes and open ears to capture all the small details from my travels near and far.