Worldwise: Famed French Fashion Designer Christian Louboutin’s Favourite Things
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Worldwise: Famed French Fashion Designer Christian Louboutin’s Favourite Things

Thu, Mar 30, 2023 9:07amGrey Clock 3 min

As the founder of an eponymous fashion brand that counts legions of women and celebrities as ardent fans, Christian Louboutin has amassed a following that has garnered him fame in his own right. Most known for his stilettos with their unmistakable red-lacquered soles—the accessory that gave him his start—the Paris-born designer has since expanded beyond footwear with handbags, fragrances, makeup, and shoes for men.

Now comes a new venture all together: this April, Louboutin, 60, will open Vermelho Melides, a 13-room hotel in Melides, a small town in Portugal’s Alentejo region. It’s a rural, unspoiled destination of pine forests, rice lagoons, and beaches where he owns a restored former fisherman’s shack and visits every chance he gets.

Named after the Portuguese word for red, Vermelho Melides is meant to evoke the feeling of a friend’s home more than a hotel and features a litany of colors, materials, and styles from various eras. Art plays into the design, too, while dining and imbibing will unfold at XTian, a restaurant offering upscale Portuguese cuisine.

Louboutin, who was expelled from school three times and began designing shoes when he was a teenager, spoke to Penta about his favorite things from Rio de Janeiro, where he was attending Carnival and also has a home.

I first discovered Portugal… as a teenager on a backpacking trip. I traveled to Lisbon and Porto and instantly loved both. I went again eight years later—this time to Comporta, a small town about an hour south of Lisbon. It was idyllic and had the most beautiful stretch of beach. I didn’t visit again until almost a decade later. I had already started my company, and my friend, the designer Jacques Grange, invited me to stay with him at his home there. I ended up visiting for the next two summers and eventually bought a home in Comporta and then Melides.

My ideal day in Melides… begins by waking up at 7 a.m., going for a jog and jumping into the ocean for a swim. Then it’s breakfast with my friends and family. The rest of the day is very relaxed. I have a beautiful garden and might spend a few hours tending to my flowers and vegetables. Or it’s reading, sketching my next round of shoe designs, and visiting local markets. But really, being in Melides is about not doing much. In the evening, it’s a long dinner with friends at home or at a local restaurant.

A favourite souvenir from Melides is… a ceramic piece from the store Vida Dura in town. Everything is handmade in Portugal, and the owner has a fantastic eye for great finds. The dinnerware, jugs, glasses, and more are colourful and will remind you of your trip.

My most memorable hotel stay… was at Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, India, in the Maharani suite. It’s a sprawling palace and gorgeous with Art Deco decor. My bed was huge, and so was the bathroom. More recently, it’s the Le Grand Controle on the grounds of Versailles. I went for Valentine’s Day with my boyfriend, and the property transported us to the world of French royalty. Alain Ducasse is behind the cuisine, and we had the most decadent multi-course with lots of French wine.

The destination on my bucket list is… the Azores Islands in Portugal. The architecture looks stunning, and it’s very much about appreciating nature like Melides. I want to visit Tasmania for the same reason.

My go-to vacation destination is… Bhutan. I visit every year. It’s a very spiritual place and again, nature dominates. I also love hiking, and the country has incredibly scenic hikes.

The shoes I wear for sightseeing are… loafers or flip-flops. I find them to be comfortable and easy to take on and off. Never sneakers, which I wear only when I’m running.

My travel essentials are… a great book and auction catalogs from Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Bonhams—they’re my secret vice.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.


Consumers are going to gravitate toward applications powered by the buzzy new technology, analyst Michael Wolf predicts

Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

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Going warm and fuzzy for the 2024 Pantone Colour of the Year

Prepare yourself for the year of the peach

Fri, Dec 8, 2023 2 min

Pantone has released its 2024 Colour of the Year — and it’s warm and fuzzy.

Peach Fuzz has been named as the colour to sum up the year ahead, chosen to imbue a sense of “kindness and tenderness, communicating a message of caring and sharing, community and collaboration” said vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, Laurie Pressman.

“A warm and cosy shade highlighting our desire for togetherness with others or for enjoying a moment of stillness and the feeling of sanctuary this creates, PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz presents a fresh approach to a new softness,” she said.

Pantone Colour of the Year is often a reflection of world mood and events

The choice of a soft pastel will come as little surprise to those who follow the Pantone releases, which are often a reflection of world affairs and community mood. Typically, when economies are buoyant and international security is assured, colours tend to the bolder spectrum. Given the ongoing war in Ukraine, the Israeli-Gaza conflict and talk of recession in many countries, the choice of a softer, more reassuring colour is predictable. 

“At a time of turmoil in many aspects of our lives, our need for nurturing, empathy and compassion grows ever stronger as does our imaginings of a more peaceful future,” she said. “We are reminded that a vital part of living a full life is having the good health, stamina, and strength to enjoy it.”

The colour also reflects a desire to turn inward and exercise self care in an increasingly frenetic world.

“As we navigate the present and build toward a new world, we are reevaluating what is important,” she said. “Reframing how we want to live, we are expressing ourselves with greater intentionality and consideration. 

“Recalibrating our priorities to align with our internal values, we are focusing on health and wellbeing, both mental and physical, and cherishing what’s special — the warmth and comfort of spending time with friends and family, or simply taking a moment of time to ourselves.”

Each year since 2000, Pantone has released a colour of the year as a trendsetting tool for marketers and branding agents. It is widely taken up in the fashion and interior design industries, influencing collections across the spectrum. 


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