Sole Man: Christian Louboutin enters the beauty business

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Some things are just meant to be. News that iconic French shoe designer Christian Louboutin has teamed up with Batallure Beauty to create a collection of luxury beauty products must surely have provoked just one reaction from his army of fans worldwide: “What took you so long?”

The first fruits of the Christian Louboutin Beauté joint venture will appear on-shelf globally in late 2013. And it’s likely the leap from red soles to red lips and nails will be a mighty profitable one. Other shoe brands/designers, such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Jimmy Choo and Nine West, have already dipped their toe in the water (albeit via fragrance), with considerable success. The arrival of Louboutin, however, has seriously upped the ante.

The Louboutin take on sparkle and scarlet

Louboutin’s shoes, with their signature scarlet sole, are lusted after the world over. This is a brand with serious clout. Louboutin has topped the Luxury Institute’s annual Luxury Brand Status Index for three years – his shoes being declared the “Most Prestigious Women’s Shoes”. And the designer was recently named one of the “All Time 100 Fashion Icons” by Time magazine.

It’s easy to see how those famous red soles could be translated into a must-have make-up collection, that will surely be as sought-after for its packaging as for the product within. For his part, Louboutin has promised that his beauty products will reflect the quality of his shoes, and encapsulate the DNA of the brand.

His partner of choice, Batallure Beauty, is an interesting one. Louboutin admits that he has received several approaches in recent years to collaborate on a beauty collection. Yet he has chosen to partner not with a long-established beauty behemoth, but with a US-based brand and business development company, created just six years ago, which claims to create “extraordinary beauty brands and engaging store experiences” for a select list of clients, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Express, Give Back Brands, Macy’s, Marchesa, Sephora and Splendid.

The irreproachable pedigree of Batallure Chairman & Co-Founder Robin Burns doubtless played a key role in Louboutin’s decision. She knows her stuff. A beauty veteran, Burns worked closely with designer Calvin Klein to bring Obsession to life back in 1985. She has served as President and CEO of Calvin Klein Cosmetics, Estée Lauder and Victoria’s Secret Beauty. And she’s been an avid wearer of scarlet-soled shoes for years. Just like Louboutin, Burns has style, vision and talent. In her capable hands, Christian Louboutin Beauté’s future is already looking red hot.

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