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Paris – Christian Louboutin’s new GINKO shoes inspired by nature

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Christian Louboutin has revealed the GINKO, an entirely new shoe that is directly inspired by nature, in a design using complex technology to bring its gold-plated heel to life.

Perhaps this is a throwback to the phase when the designer Louboutin worked as a landscape gardener. The GINKO shoe is closely tied to its designer’s personal passion for gardens and garden design and comes in both open and closed-toe options. The sharp leather upper of the Loubigirl sandal or ‘Kate’ pump are both classic styles from the House that have been embellished with this contrasting heel that’s meticulously made to resemble the delicate shape of a ginkgo leaf, gently blossoming around the back of the shoe.

Both versions of the shoe will be available in a selection of three colours. ‘Iceberg’, a cool pale blue; a pale violet called ‘Parme’; and a neutral beige shade the colour of ‘Leche’ all subtly balance with the glistening gold heel they stand on.

The GINKO heel is a lifelike design backed with sophisticated technology. The ten-step process the hardware goes through is manually operated and includes multiple coatings of nickel, copper and finally gold before they are assembled, packaged and shipped.

The initial spark of inspiration for gilding a heel came from an old European tradition of lacquering a baby’s first pair of shoes in precious metal, the idea and process of which Christian Louboutin found very charming. But while his shoes are indisputably among the most recognisable in the world, before starting a brand he seriously considered designing gardens. It’s a passion that has stayed with him since, and seamlessly blends into his life dreaming up shoes: “When I think of colours and textures on a shoe, they tend to be ones that I have noticed looking good together in the garden.”



On the grounds of his estate in Normandy stands a majestic Ginkgo tree, an ancient species dating back to over 200 million years ago that traditionally brings luck in the East Asian countries where it thrives. There, it is known as the ‘thousand-coin tree’ as every fall, the leaves turn gloriously gold in the setting sun, and it’s this fleeting moment that is encapsulated in the GINKO shoe.

“Nature is naturally sophisticated,” Christian Louboutin recently said, and this shoe is an ode to the natural world which inspires the designer to express himself so vividly.


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