Of late, news surrounding Christian Louboutin may have centred around Pakistan. Not sure what we’re talking about? Just Google it. But there’s another country intrinsically linked to the shoe designer: While most people go to co-working places for a conducive environment to work. Christian Louboutin heads to Portugal to get his brain juices flowing whenever he needs to design.
In fact, the man famous for the lipstick red soles heads to the country each time he needs to design his summer collections. There, he would explore areas like an embroidery workshop in Alentejo or a basket atelier in the Algarve. Those trips came in handy when he needed to design the fourth installment of his destination-themed tote.
The latest outing sees him paying homage to the artisans and regional craft that he has seen throughout his sojourn in Portugal. Called the Portugcaba, this fringed tote follows up on his previous totes called Manilacaba, Mexicaba and Manilacaba (the inspo for these earlier totes are self-explanatory). The beach- and resort-ready totes are available in two colourways of black and beige. Priced at $3,150, the collection will launch by the end of this month.
Each tote boasts the artisanal work of an artist from different regions of Portugal. For instance, Louboutin borrows the rare puxado weave produced by the villagers of Fridao in the north-western part of the country for the right panel of the bag. This painstaking process requires individual threads to be pulled through a piece of fabric to create three-dimensional reliefs with an effect similar to that of velvet.
Then there is the cotton panel on the left side of the bag which is made by artisans from the northern Ribeira de Pena region of Portugal. The decorative embossed motifs here are often seen on cushions, tablecloths and bedspreads, and achieved by needlework which takes three hours to complete. Other local details include the beaded handles created in the style of the country’s famed Azulejos tiles. Each colourful pattern is painstakingly transferred onto plastic and ceramic tiles or beats prior to being heated and takes almost an hour to finish.
We know that Louboutin loves Portugal, but this is definitely the ultimate love letter.