Saturday, June 15, 2024
HomeThe Secret Behind Taylor Swift’s Superstar Shoes? Red Bottoms—and Loads of Crystals

The Secret Behind Taylor Swift’s Superstar Shoes? Red Bottoms—and Loads of Crystals

Earlier this month, Taylor Swift kicked off the European leg of her record-breaking Eras Tour, beginning her marathon of live performances with four nights in Paris. Since then, the global superstar has moved on to Stockholm. In both cities, Swift has brought her catalog of hits to the stage—not to mention her signature glitzy costumes, designed by labels such as Roberto Cavalli, Vivienne Westwood, and Versace. Punctuating these looks, however? An impressive range of custom Christian Louboutin shoes, famously known for their signature red soles. (The superstar also rocked Louboutin footwear during her North American leg.)

During Swift’s recent Paris shows, the singer sported seven different pairs of Louboutin shoes—including two new custom styles, a white lace-up boot and silver heeled sandals, worn for her new era, “The Tortured Poets Department.” Swift also debuted a new pair in Sweden—performing her “1989” era in mismatched crystal-covered ankle boots (one in yellow, another in blue). Throughout the entire course of Swift’s Eras tour, Louboutin tells Vogue he has created over 250 pairs for the superstar—including 60 new pairs for her European leg alone. “When working for performers, it’s better to start with a very large number of styles that will end up in a selection of designs which seem the best for the stage,” says Louboutin. “She also likes to entertain her audience and surprise them, date after date. So, there might be more to come…”

Image may contain Taylor Swift Adult Person Performer Solo Performance Clothing Footwear High Heel Shoe and Fashion
Photo: Getty Images

admire how much emotion Taylor puts into her performance and her work,” Louboutin says. “She is a powerhouse and her ability to do this night after night, city after city, is exceptional.”

Swift’s glitzy, stage-ready heels for the tour were first brought to life from many conversations between Louboutin, Swift, and her stylist Joseph Cassell. “Joseph and Taylor were very instrumental in communicating all the different acts, and having shoes that reflect the genre she wore then with an updated modern twist,” says Louboutin. The trio aimed to find styles that fit the aesthetic of each “era” Swift performs on-stage. “For the ‘Fearless’ era, she only wore flat boots; Our Cate boot has a beautiful angle detail at the knee that makes it sexy and feminine,” says Louboutin. “For ‘The Tortured Poet Departments’ era, we created a custom last based on archival styles that represent the Victorian theme.”

Image may contain Clothing Footwear High Heel and Shoe
Photo: Courtesy of Christian Louboutin
Image may contain Clothing Footwear High Heel and Shoe
Photo: Courtesy of Christian Louboutin

Taking Swift’s custom clothing designs into account, of course, was also important when designing the shoes; Louboutin treated the footwear as more of a finishing touch. “It was inspiring to see the ready-to-wear looks,” says Louboutin. “Joseph shared with us the sketches, and from there we thought about what shined on stage and complemented her choreography.” Louboutin also had to make sure that what he created was made for movement—and dancing, given just how choreography-heavy her show is. “Performing requires a lot of skill and concentration, so whatever costume or shoes you’re wearing must not become a distraction,” says Louboutin. “They need to disappear from your thoughts, allowing your voice to be the only instrument that matters, ensuring you give your best performance and convey emotion to the audience staring at you.”

Image may contain Lighting Dancing Leisure Activities Person Adult Clothing Dress Stage and Formal Wear
Photo: Getty Images
Image may contain Clothing Footwear Shoe High Heel Brush Device and Tool
A sketch by Christian Louboutin for Taylor SwiftSketch: Courtesy of Christian Louboutin

Luckily, having interned at the Parisian cabaret Les Folies Bergère as a teenager (it’s how Louboutin got his start), the designer says he’s learned a few tricks about creating glamorous shoes that are performance-ready. “Since then, I’ve learned a few magic tricks to make sure the silhouette still looks great with shoes being 100% easy to perform in,” he says. His main secret to success for shoes that are superstar-worthy? Loads of crystals and shimmer. “That’s also something I learned at Les Folies Bergère: Lights on stage are very strong, and tend to flatten any surface,” he says. Crystals, then, ensure one’s shoes can pop. “For the opening act, you can see all of [Swift’s] Elenora boots from every seat in the house,” says Louboutin. “The way strass [crystals] catch the light is super impactful on stage. After all, this is the biggest tour in the world—the girl needs to shine!”

Image may contain Taylor Swift Fashion Clothing Footwear High Heel Shoe Adult Person Accessories and Jewelry
Photo: Getty Images

Most Popular