Designer Christian Louboutin has been mulling over a clothing line, according to rumor, the man best known for his signature red-soled heels and who’s recently branched out into beauty hadn’t dropped any definite hints that clothing was an option but we’ve had our fingers crossed none-the-less. Today, the designer makes headlines on the collaboration of the official non-performance outfits for the Cuban national team for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio this summer. This just might be the hint we’ve been waiting for.
Louboutin teamed with former professional handball player Henri Tai on a red-centric design, to be worn by the athletes at formal occasions including the event’s closing ceremony. Tai is founder of SportyHenri.com, a fledgling French men’s e-concept store specializing in activewear and lifestyle clothing.
Featuring nods to Cuban heritage design, the athletic-chic silhouette was also designed with input from the athletes themselves through a series of custom fittings in a Paris atelier. Unveiled at a global launch in Lisbon, Portugal, on Thursday hosted by actor and former Olympic athlete Pedro Lima, the outfit centers on sharply tailored jackets in red for men and beige for women bearing the Cuban flag on the breast pocket and a lucky five-pointed star at the back.
Footwear is also a key part of the look, bien sur. Styles include a calf leather high-top trainer and Naza Star loafer style for men and a kitten-heel sandal for female athletes.
“It’s that elegance and fluidity of movement of someone who is so in control of their body that fascinates me. At the Olympics, it feels like these athletes put on performance gear and simultaneously turn into these superheroes that defy gravity, that defy time, that defy all rules of physics,” said Louboutin. “We designed the celebratory outfit for the moment they turn back into humans, still in that glory moment, still in their light but heading back to the real world.”