I almost never swear, but this time, I really have to make a shout out to the world *W*T*F* happened to the Pigalle 120??!?! I’ve been meaning to write this post for the last 2 months, but I was so busy, so I must apologize. I hope that my pictures of the “old” and “new” Pigalle comparison will make up for the lost time here.
These shoes need little introduction, they are *THE* shoes that made the designer Christian Louboutin famous in the early millennium. He had designed rather average looking shoes that did not distinguish him from the mass, and in fact looked quite matronly and often followed the footsteps of the lead designer Manolo Blahnik at the time. However in 2004, he envisioned the Pigalle 120 – one that would elevate the foot and heighten one’s passionate desires. It was a unique design that was simple, elegant, and full of sex appeal. It has then since been the epitome of the brand and is his best selling shoes.
Now came Winter 2014, Monsieur Louboutin and his design team decided to CHANGE the famed shoe!!!
– How? By making the cut on the sides higher, dramatically changing the pitch to a very steep slope, turning the toe upward, and completely changing the sizing system. I’ve photoshopped the old Pigalle style with the new style for you guys to visually see the difference above.
– Why? Likely to appeal to the mass who find the Pigalle 120 style to be too uncomfortably narrow and therefore their feet “overhang” on the sides. By creating higher cut sides, it allows the shoe to envelope the feet without making it pop out for those who have difficulty wearing it.
I don’t have a problem with the brand making a shoe that will be better fitting for the mass. However, why not design a new shoe with a new name associated with it? He did not need to discontinue or change the old Pigalle at all. With his current fame, he can easily create a new style and women will still buy them off the shelves like crazy. I am also particularly disturbed by the fact that he is no longer following his own principles.
This is a man who once said to Vogue 2012, “it is not my job to create something comfortable. I try to make high heels as comfortable as they can be, but my priority is design, beauty and sexiness. I’m not against them, but comfort is not my focus.” Now making such a drastic change must have been a big decision in the company. I do give him the benefit of doubt that it was likely not him who gave the final word, given that his previous description and utter adoration of the Pigalle 120 style was just so full of passion. I don’t believe that he would sacrifice his design/style for comfort, but I do think that he’s a business man at heart and he is looking to appeal to the mass for more sales and profit.
When there’s compromise like this, I do believe that he will gain new customers, but will ultimately lose some of his most devoted fans – the original customers who first helped him to fame and recognized his design and style over anything else.
Please see the following pictures and let me know if you think the old (black) or new (nude) Pigalle is designed better. For reference, both are size 35, but the new Pigalle is very small and one needs to go up by at least half a size – I can barely squeeze my feet in them, whereas my old ones were a perfect fit.
Lined up against the wall, you can see clearly that the new nude Pigalle is a lot smaller. Heel to tip measurements: 18.8cm – 18.2cm = 0.6cm difference in length.
View of the sides: The nude pair is significantly higher cut and steeper in pitch. I think the heel height is a little different too by 0.2cm but this may just be a variation in hand-craftsmanship. The heel itself has not changed imo.
Measurement of sides (excluding outsole): 3.5cm – 2.75cm = 0.75cm difference!
Vamp cut has changed too! The new style is actually lower cut and shows more toe cleavage by 0.3cm!
More pix: Width has stayed the same otherwise.
More modeling pix of this disastrous shoe *sigh*
I understand that most people probably won’t even notice the difference, but for some of us CL fanatics, it’s heartbreaking and I just don’t feel the same wearing them. Even in the right size, I don’t think I can stand the steep pitch which makes me feel like I’m toppling over. My old black Pigalle fit perfectly!
N.B.: I know there has been rumors of the 100 style being changed too, but I tried them on and I really do not see a difference. It may be just that certain shoes have some variation in cut – most designers allow for upto 3mm of difference.
An ode to the old style: