When it came to designing the packaging for his debut fragrance, Christian Louboutin admits that Thomas Heatherwick was not at the top of his list. ‘I have to be very honest, the first person I thought of was Oscar Niemeyer,’ confesses Louboutin. ‘I had always admired his work but at that point he was 102 years old. So the second person was Thomas. His work fascinates me.’
The brief was simple: to create a striking and unique set of architectural vessels for the three fragrances that they encase ('Tornade Blonde', a fresh red rose fragrance with notes of violet and cassis by Olivier Cresp; 'Bikini Questa Sera', a warm tuberose and jasmine scent, and 'Trouble in Heaven', a heady mix of iris, patchouli and tonka absolute, both by Pierre Negrin) are the latest additions of Louboutin’s forays into the beauty market, which began in 2014 with a line of nail polishes.
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‘I could never understand why beauty packaging was so ugly,’ laments Louboutin. ‘For me, every corner of the object has to be taken in to consideration.’ While his polishes are packaged in angular bottles with towering stiletto-inspired bottle tops, his lipsticks are encased in gold bullet-shaped vials – both of which were designed in-house. For Louboutin, the collaboration with Heatherwick is his first with an outside designer, and for Heatherwick, better known for his ambitious architectural creations, it marks his first ever beauty packaging design.