Christian Louboutin is CNN Style’s new guest editor. He’s commissioned a series of stories around the topic of “Journeys.”
My father was a cabinet maker and he once told me that you have to follow the vein of the wood rather than try to impose your own will on it. I took this literally and have chosen to keep myself open to the opportunities and encounters life throws at me. Throughout my 29-year career as a shoe designer, I’ve never had a set plan, and I truly believe that everyone has their own specific journey. My advice is, enjoy the adventure. There isn’t one narrow way to reach your goal.
My experience of journeys started from a young age. When you’re a child your imagination allows you to fly beyond yourself, it’s something that nobody can take from you.
14-year-old Christian Louboutin leaving middle school. Credit: Christian Louboutin
I am reminded of a French book written in 1790 by Xavier de Maistre, called “A Journey Around My Room.” Stuck in one place for six weeks, the author recounts the ‘journeys’ he had while never going outside.
In a similar way, movies can show you different worlds. Where I grew up, in the 12th arrondissement in Paris, there was a cinema called L’Athena, and another nearby called L’Avron, where they screened films from India and Egypt. I would skip school and go there when I was meant to be in class. I wasn’t into the French movies of the time, and by watching the ways of people and locales far from everything I…