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97/177/4 Shoes (pair), 'Maskovitch', for Summer 1996 collection, womens, leather / suede / rubber, designed by Christian Louboutin, Paris, France, made in Italy, 1995. Click to enlarge.

Pair of womens 'Maskovitch' shoes by Christian Louboutin

Christian Louboutin's shoes are instantly recognisable by their 'Chinese red' soles. The brand has become synonymous with making women feel sexy, producing shoes that give the appearance of an elongated leg, such as the 'Maskovitch' stiletto.

Louboutin was born in Paris 1964. Upon leaving school, he worked with showgirls at the Parisian music hall, the 'Folies Bergere' and was influenced by how they carried themselves in spiked heels. Showgirls became his ultimate icons and the inspiration for his leg-lengthening creations. After the Folies Bergere, Louboutin worked for various shoe companies including Charles Jourdan and Roger Vivier, before opening a Parisian boutique in 1991. His shoes are unconventional and he likes to be associated with the decorative arts rather than fashion, drawing upon art, architecture and the landscape. Whimsical details are seen in the shaping of the 'Maskovitch's' vamp which features a mask.

In 2015, the company operated 105 stores worldwide, including a store in Pitt St, Sydney and Collins St, Melbourne, as well as selling to 300 high end stockists globally. Louboutins are worn by celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicole Kidman, Catherine Deneuve, Kirsten Dunst, Tina Turner, Angelina Jolie and Victoria Beckham and have featured in HBO's 'Sex and the City'. In addition to the attention brought to the brand by celebrity endorsement, sales have been boosted by the instagram-worthy qualities of the shoes, particularly, the red soles. Louboutin's shoes epitomise the tension between practicality and a woman's desire to feel sexy. The popularity of his shoes highlights that even in an era in which women have made great strides towards equality, the appeal of a towering heel continues to hold sway.

Information from:
Hume, Marion, "Christian Louboutin on shoes, lipstick and the freedom to dream", Australian Financial Review Magazine, August 28 2015, http://www.afr.com/lifestyle/fashion/christian-louboutin-on-shoes-lipstick-and-the-freedom-to-dream-20150709-gi8c6h

The Design Museum, 'Christian Louboutin', September 11, 2014, updated October 18, http://designmuseum.org/designers/christian-louboutin


Object No.


Object Statement

Shoes (pair), 'Maskovitch', for Summer 1996 collection, womens, leather / suede / rubber, designed by Christian Louboutin, Paris, France, made in Italy, 1995

Physical Description

Pair of womens shoes, size 38 1/2, with pointed toe and covered stiletto heel. The shoes consist of black suede open waisted shoes featuring red suede cut out throat joined onto red suede cords which cross around the ankle, pass through a loop on the quarter and tie around the ankle. The insole is in black suede. The shoes are lined in cream kid with a suede heel grip and feature a shank beneath the cream kid sock. The covered black heel is shaped at the base in the form of a cross, with a shaped rubber top piece. The sole is in red leather. Summer 1996 collection.


Trademark on sock, printed in gold in script "Christian/ Louboutin/ Paris", mark on sole, stamped, hide shaped with words inside "VERO/ CUOIO", beneath "MADE IN ITALY/ 38 1/2".



160 mm


85 mm



Christian Louboutin (born in France 1964) worked for various shoe companies including Roger Vivier, who was famous for promoting the stiletto heel during the 1950s. Louboutin had become knowledgeable about footwear before opening his Parisian boutique in1991. His shoes are unconventional and he likes to be associated with the decorative arts rather than fashion. Influenced by Roger Vivier, his work has a handcrafted decorative quality. Although he had boutiques in Paris and New York, at the time the shoes were purchased, Louboutins were produced in limited quantities with a maximum production run of 50 pairs. Inspired by diverse sources such as landscape gardening and pop culture, his designs are noteworthy for their whimsical details such as the shaping of the 'Maskovitch's vamp which features a mask..

Louboutin appreciates the skills of traditional artisans and collaborates personally with master craftsmen in Parabiago, near Milan. He seeks artisans with specific skills such as embroidery, hammered metal or leatherwork for each collection and wants to contribute towards keeping their crafts going, even though he knows that he could get the work done more quickly in his factories. His trademark is the red sole. This feature came about when he felt that some of his prototypes were a little dull. While considering this, his assistant was painting her nails red. He grabbed her nail polish and applied it to the soles, transforming a part of the shoe that used to be insignificant into an instagram-worthy focal point.

According to an article by the Design Museum posted in September 2014, Louboutin's designs begin with sketches. From the original sketches, he hopes to remain faithful to the original design and resolves technical problems later with his team. He designs two collections each year and does so in environments that reflect the climate for which he's designing. He therefore designs his Autumn/Winter collection in a chateau in France or at his house in Portugal. He often designs his Spring/Summer collection in Egypt.

At the time these stilettos entered the MAAS collection, Louboutin had boutiques in New York and Paris. Despite operating two boutiques, the shoes were produced in limited quantities with a maximum production run of 50 pairs.

The 'Maskovitch' sandals are designed by Christian Louboutin and made in Italy in1995 for the Summer collection.

Information about the design process from The Design Museum, 'Christian Louboutin', Posted September 11. 2014, https://designmuseum.org/designers/christian-louboutin




These boots were a gift from Christian Louboutin and have not been worn. They were given to MAAS when the Museum bought five pairs of Louboutins from the Paris boutique. The group of shoes by Louboutin was purchased as they were seen to have the potential to communicate developments in twentieth century fashion. Three pairs were displayed in the MAAS exhibition "Stepping Out" in 1997-1998.


Credit Line

Purchased 1997

Acquisition Date

24 June 1997

Cite this Object


Pair of womens 'Maskovitch' shoes by Christian Louboutin 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 14 April 2021, <https://ma.as/156496>


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