Christian Louboutin believes fairy tales can come true.
On Thursday, the high-end shoe designer - a celebrity favorite - reveals his re-imagining of Cinderella's glass slipper, thanks to a new collaboration with Disney. And in the spirit of the fairy tale, the designer will anoint one lucky U.S. fan as his Cinderella and gift her with a free limited-edition pair.
In creating the shoe, the movie studio reached out to the designer, whose red-soled heels are as coveted as they are pricey, in advance of Cinderella's Blu-ray release Oct. 2.
"It's a very classic fairy tale about love," Louboutin says, "and the dream that love is absolutely pure." Though Louboutin's slipper will not be produced for mass sale, 20 pairs will be given away worldwide this fall, turning "anyone into modern-day Cinderellas," Louboutin says. Disney and Louboutin will release details on the giveaway Aug. 17.
Lori MacPherson, executive vice president of global product management at Disney, calls the shoe "possibly the most iconic shoe in literature" and says the Louboutin collaboration is a "fitting tribute."
Louboutin unveiled Cinderella's new accessory at a soiree Wednesday night at the Palais Brongniart in Paris, during Couture Fashion Week. Guests at the elite event included fashion editors from around the world.
The master craftsman concedes there were challenges to designing the shoe. "You imagine it being completely transparent, (made) out of glass," Louboutin says. But "full and classical transparency made into a shoe makes a really ugly foot." And using a plastic such as Lucite "could look very '60s or sort of punky."
Instead, Louboutin used lace to give the illusion of transparency, paired with a glittering, Swarovski-crystal-covered heel. He then added butterflies, imagining a modern-day Cinderella tending to her chores and the delicate creature landing on her.
Louboutin also makes his acting debut in a Disney-produced 10-minute short, done in the spirit of Louboutin's own Disney favorite, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, starring Angela Lansbury. It is called The Magic of the Glass Slipper: A Cinderella Story and will appear as a bonus feature on the Cinderella Blu-ray DVD. "The movie is about how that shoe got invented by the person who is known as the Red Sole Man. Which is me," he says with a chuckle.
With one princess outfitted, would he take on a more sinister character, such as Angelina Jolie's upcoming Maleficent? Louboutin indicates that Disney collaborations may well be the new shoe that fits: "It would be a great challenge, and I would love to do it."