Martha Stewart has admitted that she is not a fan of Christian Louboutin’ signature, and uses black paint to obscure it.
Martha Stewart, 71, told InStyle: “See the soles? I paint them black.”
Explaining the unlikely practice, which might be considered sacrilege by many fashionistas who covet the $700+ shoes, Martha Stewart continued: “I don’t like them red, even though they’re his trademark.”
But through the legendary French cobbler is famously protective over the red sole trademark – he sued YSL for using red soles on its red pumps, sparking a series of counterclaims which this week were finally dropped – it seems he doesn’t object to Martha Stewart customizing his designs.
“He doesn’t mind,” she said.
“He said it’s okay if I do that – I asked him!”
Martha Stewart, whose empire is worth $638 million, was speaking yesterday at her inaugural American Made event.
It saw Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall turned into a hub of crafts, croissants and conversation with experts in the areas of gardening, decorating, cooking and fashion.
In a session called The Makers of American Fashion, Martha Stewart did a one-on-one interview with J Crew CEO Millard Drexler, and then led a panel discussion with Calvin Klein, Tory Burch and Ralph Rucci.
As the grande dame of the home, Martha Stewart said what she brought to the fashion table is an ability to sew, an affinity for design and a desire to promote American-grown talent.
The talent in question seemed to agree that the success of the industry lies largely with new ideas and the customers who will embrace them.
Right now, everything looks too similar, said Millard Drexler: “It’s a broken record around the world.”
It’s the person willing to be a “contrarian” that will leave the biggest impact, he said.
“In business, you must stay creative,” Calvin Klein added.
“If you give people what they will want, your business will grow.”
Tory Burch, who in eight years has grown from a kitchen-table idea into a global brand, said she takes inspiration anywhere she can get it: art, music or a book, for example. But she also has to keep regional trends and taste in mind.
There’s a big divide between Brazilian bathing suits with very little fabric and the covered-up customs in the Middle East, she said.
The goal, according to Tory Burch, is balance.
Ralph Rucci made the case that being a well-rounded person makes him a better designer, and that fashion doesn’t operate in a total vacuum. For him, painting is “my trap door”.
On the practical side, though, Millard Drexler said price is a factor in long-term success.
“As a kid, I realized you can never afford everything you want,” he said.
“Calvin [Klein] and Ralph [Lauren] were it, but they were more expensive than I thought it should be. No offense. But I didn’t think good taste should cost more.”