Home base: Paris Profession: Shoe Designer

Courtesy of One & Only Resorts The designer in the Maldives with a pair of his Cataribbon espadrilles, $375.
| Credit: Courtesy of One & Only Resorts

“In two days I’ll be in Italy,” says French shoe designer Christian Louboutin, describing a recent two-week travel schedule. “Then I go to Morocco for a day, then Moscow, Dubai, Monaco, London, Amman, Cairo, and finally back to Paris.” With itineraries like this, how does Louboutin find time to design his trademark red-soled stilettos and platforms?“It’s all part of the process. Travel puts me in a creative mood,” says the designer, who draws inspiration from the colors he sees on trips to India, and in the Spanish gardens he often visits in Andalusia. Louboutin owns a flat in Paris’s first arrondissement, a houseboat on the Nile, and a house outside of Luxor, but to unwind, he heads to the One & Only Reethi Rah, a private-island resort in the Maldives. “It’s one of the rare places where I can really cool down. It’s like being in an enchanted forest—but with no snakes!” In fact, Louboutin is such a fan that he’s partnered with One & Only to create a line of espadrilles, to be sold at their resorts in the Maldives, Los Cabos, the Bahamas, Dubai, and Mauritius, and at Louboutin’s London and New York boutiques. “Espadrilles are the perfect shoe for dressing up on vacation,” he says. The festive colors of these flats, wedges, and platforms are meant to be shown off under the holiday sun, but they make for a pretty nice souvenir back home, too.

Louboutin’s Favorite Spots

Rennes-les-Bains, France

Roches Tremblantes

Languedoc-Roussillon has such a mysterious landscape. The ‘trembling rocks’ are a natural phenomenon and inspired my imagination as a child.”

Granada, Spain

Generalife Gardens

“The ponds here are gorgeous against the citadel.”

Luxor, Egypt

Hotel Al Moudira

“Before I owned property in Egypt, I always stayed here—it feels like a family home.”

Fatehpur Sikri, India

“This deserted sandstone city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh is a must-see.”