Vanessa Hong, Sophia Roe and Evangelie Smyrniotaki get real about fashion week, dish on their go-to Paris haunts, and where their red soles will take them next.
In collaboration with Christian Louboutin.
For such an iconic, instantly recognizable brand (we’d detail the countless film and TV namedrops, song lyrics, and cultural references, but then we’d be here a while), there’s more to Christian Louboutin’s creations than his signature red soles. The designer’s made it his life work to elevate women, so to speak—with the idea that his shoes are the ones that carry you as you present your ultime self to the world. “Shoes are just a pedestal. What interests me is the power of the woman who wears them,” Louboutin explains. And while the Louboutin woman’s calling card may be an unwavering sense of self-confidence, what really sets her apart is her total dedication to self-expression—not unlike the man himself.
Growing up the youngest, with three older sisters in his native Paris, the designer honed his sense of the intricacies of femininity over the years—from tending to the showgirls of famed cabaret, Folies-Bergère, at just 18 years old; to working with everyone from Princess Caroline of Monaco to the female artisans of Mexico and Manila. You’ll notice his insights in everything from the slope of a heel, carefully constructed to elongate the frame, his still-chic take on the everyday nappa leather loafer or collection of skintone-colored pumps, which proves there’s no singular ‘one-shade-fits-all’ definition of ‘nude’.
Every season is marked by a line-up of styles that celebrate vastly different perspectives of a woman’s personality—each as unexpectedly delightful as the women who wear them. We like to think its thanks in part to the act of adorning your feet with something that makes you smile—Louboutin’s exact intent when he originally designed his signature ‘Love’ shoe inspired by a photo of Princess Diana in ’92 (so she would every time she gazed down at her feet). Isn’t that half the battle?
Knowing that there’s a Louboutin for every facet of any woman, it was especially fascinating to see the designer’s vision interpreted by three vastly different styles of dressers (hailing from three entirely different corners of the world). While in Paris for the brand’s first-ever Couture Week presentation, we caught up with our influencer trio——Evangelie Smyrniotaki, Vanessa Hong, and Sophia Roe—and got real about fashion week, their first-ever pair of Louboutins, go-to Parisian haunts, and where their red soles will take them next.
Vanessa: “My first pair were the iconic nude pumps. At the time, I was still working an office job fresh out of university, and the shoes were my way of subverting the buttoned-up status quo. To me, it represents mystery and a fun time.”
Evangelie: “I am the rare case of someone whose first Louboutins were a pair of flat sandals. They were t-strap animal print with black leather laces wrapping around the ankles. Like a chic gladiator. To me, the red sole means something ultra-feminine and super powerful.”
Sophia: “My first Louboutins were brown leather heels (Harler) and I wore them to my very first Fashion Week in Copenhagen.”
Vanessa: “Mushroom teas, probiotics, stash of bite-size superfoods, & some type of face mist.”
ON GETTING DRESSED FOR FASHION WEEK:
Evangelie: “I have no schedule at all for my outfits during fashion week. I pack the pieces that I love the most and usually get dressed according to my mood.”
THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DANISH AND PARISIAN STYLE:
Sophia: “They’re both all about dressing effortlessly chic. What makes a difference is that Parisians are more dressed up when it comes to accessories, where the Danes like to choose more low-key items. The Danish style is very easygoing and lives well by the motto less is more. I think the simple way of dressing may resonate with most women all over the world.”
THE VERY BEST PART OF PARIS FASHION WEEK:
Evangelie: “That I see my friends. Fashion week is our big, big reunion.”
HOW TO FIND BALANCE DURING THE CRAZIEST WEEK ON THE FASHION CALENDAR:
Vanessa: “I try to limit the events I go to. My motto has always been quality over quantity. To me, that means showing up for things that really matter and that excite me.”
The one thing she does every season:
“I always go to Bio C’ Bon and load up on my vegan treats.”
Her favorite Parisian eats:
“Ph7 Èquilibré for their macrobiotic raw plates.”
The best shopping:
“I love checking out my friend's boutique, Greyhound. He stocks independent designers from all over the world and has really cool pieces you cannot find anywhere else in the city.”
Favorite spot for a little inspiration:
“My favorite inspiration gathering is just sitting with locals on patios.”
Her home away from home:
“The Peninsula has always been a treat and decidedly the best service hotel in all of Paris.”
Her first stop:
“I usually go to Paris for work, and my schedule is pretty hectic, but I always find time to go for a face treatment to Biologique Recherche.”
The meal she dreams about:
“My favorite chicken spring rolls at Hotel Costes.”
The best shopping:
Favorite museums and galleries:
“The Louvre, and I always check on the exhibitions at the Grand and Petit Palais.”
Her home away from home:
“The Peninsula, and cutest boutique hotel, San Regis.”
The one thing she has to do every fashion week:
“I love to take a stroll at Jardin du Palais Royal if I find the time. I also recently discovered a wellness place called Ladda Paris. I’m strongly convinced that it could easily turn into an everytime-I-go habit.”
Her favorite meal in Paris:
“Lunch at Miznon Paris, dinner at Au Passage, and dessert tarte au citron at Le Dauphin.”
The best shopping:
“Well, now that Colette is closed, I'm forced to get my kicks elsewhere! I love browsing for kitchenware at E. Dehillerin. They have everything for the kitchen with a French touch. To visit the Parisian pharmacies to stock up on beauty necessities is also a must.”
Her favorite places for visual inspo:
“Palais de Tokyo and Musee Rodin.”
Her favorite spot to stay:
“Hotel Grand Amour.”