Christian Louboutin is what we would call a footwear genius. His sneakers, spiked hybrids, and slippers have all built a strong following. So it's interesting to see what he thinks about, or what the process is like, when he designs said shoes.

GQ recently caught up with the designer to talk about the difference between designing for a man and a woman, his men's shop, and how his men's business almost happened by accident.

On how his men's business came about:

"Well I always did a little bit for men. For me or for friends if I needed a shoe. But properly as a collection I really started three years ago a young pop star called Mika called me one day and wanted me to design all the shoes for his show for his tour. I like his music, so I say "great, why not?" But I did want to know why he asked me, who designs shoes for women, when he is a man and wants men's shoes? He said he lives with his three sisters and never sees so much excitement in girls as when they put my shoes on. Everything on stage for him needs to be very exciting, exciting for him but also exciting for his fans there. And so I started to do a full collection of shoes thinking of him on stage. Then I drifted towards designing a full collection, which of course he didn't need. He needed a few pairs. I ended up putting some of them in my stores and they flew away. So I really started because of someone on stage. And it's funny because now I feel that a lot of people, stage people actually, entertainers in general, love my shoes, so it sort of makes sense."

On the difference between designing for a man and a woman:

"I actually put myself in a specific state of mind. Let's say I take a piece of leather and I'm thinking of a woman. I'm going to think, "OK, can I recover bottoms, can I do a bow, is it soft enough, can I drape it?" When I'm in my men mentality then I'm going to visualize it completely differently. Is it thick enough? Will it expand enough? Is it soft enough that guys will like it? Do I need to line it? I mean the question will be completely different. That's why you have to program yourself if I'm into men or if I'm into women. When I'm working for women it's never curvy enough. You know the heel is curving the legs but also curving the body. When you're thinking men you're thinking differently and designing with more angles, you know. My drawing for women is really curvy. My drawings for men are actually quite angular."
Check out the full interview here.

[via GQ]