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Idris and Sabrina Elba wanted to ‘unlock empathy’ with Christian Louboutin line

When: 16 Jun 2021

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Christian Louboutin

Idris and Sabrina Elba were determined to celebrate “hope and empathy” with their new charity collection for Christian Louboutin.

Last year, the couple took part in an online conversation on the topics of privilege, systemic injustice, and racism around the world with Opal Tometi, one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement.

After viewing the chat, Louboutin reached out to his friends and asked if they would be interested in curating a range of footwear, with the resulting line titled the Walk a Mile in My Shoes collection.

“It really comes from a very, very simple thing. I ended up being on Idris’s Instagram, who was live with Opal Tometi and Sabrina. I was hearing them, I was listening to them, the three of them were talking,” the French designer recalled. “And it not only was interesting, not only quite fascinating, but very moving and I was also very proud of my friends. The day after, I spoke to Idris, and I said, ‘Listen, I have been listening to you and it was really an important moment for me.'”

The collection includes a fresh take on some of Louboutin’s iconic designs, as well as a new sneaker co-designed by Elba. Elements of the designs were inspired by Strelitzia reginae, known as Mandela’s Gold, a plant that has come to symbolise hope and freedom, as well as footwear emblazoned with the powerful statement Walk a Mile in My Shoes, which originated from a visit Idris paid to the Martin Luther King Jr memorial in Los Angeles.

“To unlock empathy, that really speaks to what you were trying to get across with the message, Walk a Mile in my Shoes. It’s not necessarily (about) walking a mile in our shoes, or Christian’s shoes, it’s to think about your neighbour, the person next to you who might not have the same equality in life based on such meaningless things. And to really just open up that conversation,” said Sabrina, while Idris added: “It’s about the contribution. Some people can contribute by protesting, some people can contribute by turning legislation, some people can contribute by offering money. But the intention of the contribution is what is important.”

One hundred per cent of the proceeds from the collection will support five charitable organisations fighting oppression and advancing racial justice, equal rights and access – The Gathering of Justice, Be Rose Foundation, The Immediate Theater, and Somali Hope Foundation & Purposeful.

– Cover Media