In 20 years of extraordinary work, Christian Louboutin has at times come across a singular scrap of fabric or an odd decoration too scant to be used en masse but too spectacular to simply leave be. On these occasions, he’s made a single pair—something he calls “the Cinderella shoe.” “It’s only available for a magical moment,” he says. Louboutin could hardly imagine, though, that one day he would design Cinderella’s actual shoe—a glass slipper of his own interpretation, created in collaboration with Walt Disney Studios to mark the animated film’s Diamond Edition release on Blu-ray this month. “It’s a dream come true,” he says.
Fashioned from nude lace and festooned with shimmering butterflies (symbols, like Cinderella herself, of transformation), the real-life chaussures live up to the legendary ones, but then, Louboutin—who’s been known to craft crystal stilettos from which to sip champagne, along with pumps in the form of lion paws—is most in his element when spinning fantasy into reality. “It’s what I do,” he says.
The slippers will be bestowed to winners of a Disney contest in 19 countries this fall. With the help of the studio, Louboutin has also created a charming short to be included in the Blu-ray set. In it, the designer, playing himself, searches desperately for inspiration all over Paris—only to find it, finally, in a young girl washing the floor outside his window. The moral? Says Louboutin, “There is a Cinderella in everyone.”