Christian Louboutin was born in Paris in 1963. He was brought up by his mother and three sisters, and credits this feminine environment as the inspiration for much of his work.

As a child, he recalls discovering a drawing at the Museum of African art, which showed a woman's sharp-heeled shoe, crossed out with a vivid red line. The image, which dated back to the 1950's and was intended to safeguard the museum's parquet floor, fascinated him. He had never seen such a shoe, which in its fine delicacy was in sharp contrast to the prevailing 1970s trends for flat or clunky heeled shoes, and the image never left him.

Christian Louboutin - the Bride's best friend