Footwear and accessories designer Christian Louboutin and his cult red-soled shoes certainly need no introduction to popular culture — the brand is regularly name-checked in hit songs by everyone from Cardi B and Kanye, to Lady Gaga and Migos. It’s no surprise, therefore, that when it came to creating content for a campaign to launch the label’s first luxury runner, Louboutin decided to enlist one of its most high-ranking players, who is part of a hip-hop dynasty, singer and actor Quincy Brown.
Brown (the son of Kim Porter and Al B. Sure, and whose stepfather is rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs) first met Louboutin last year in Paris at the designer’s Spring ’19 presentation which he attended with his brothers Christian Combs (a.k.a. King Combs) and Justin Combs. “Louboutin has always stood out to me as someone who is pushing the barriers of style and taking risks,” said Brown. Fans of each other’s work (Brown is partial to Louboutin’s men’s lace up boots, while he has been on the designer’s radar since starring in the 2015 film Dope), discussions soon followed about how the pair could work together for the launch of Louboutin’s first performance neoprene sock sneaker range.
Brown had previously dabbled in directing, shooting the music video for his single Snuggle Up entirely on his Google Pixel 2 phone, and was eager to try his hand at a more ambitious project, while Louboutin hoped to reintroduce the brand to a digitally-savvy audience.
“This generation communicates through social media and Quincy speaks their language so I felt that he was the right fit to share his vision for this launch,” Louboutin told The Hollywood Reporter of his decision to hand over the creative reins. After several months of creative back and forth between the two, what transpired was a dance-inspired tableau about art, passion, discovery and love set to the sounds of Brown’s latest track “Mosaic” featuring The Code (that will be released simultaneously) and shot by veteran fashion commercial director Otto Arsenault.
When it came to storyboarding, “dance was always going to be part of the video,” Brown explained to THR in between takes at the Mack Sennett studios in Silver Lake, where he had assembled a cast that included television presenter Erin Lim, dancer Kid The Wiz, and brothers Justin and Christian (whose 2017 Coachella dance-off with Rihanna went viral). It was quite the family affair in fact, as rapper and producer Sean “Diddy” Combs also came by to offer his support.
“Quincy brings new meaning to the phrase ‘passion project’,” said Louboutin of the creative process. “He has an impressive range of talents as a young creative, but they’re amplified by his endless supply of enthusiasm and curiosity.”
For Louboutin, who as a teenager had worked for the famous Paris cabaret act the Folies Bergère, bringing a dance element into the campaign was also a no-brainer: The brand’s Spring ’19 presentation featured a high-octane dance performance starring French actor Kevin Mischel and dance is a theme throughout his campaigns. “The first shoes I ever designed were for showgirls, for people on stage,” he explained. “Dancers have a certain kind of attitude, a solid consciousness of their body—they’re forces to be reckoned with.”
The final 90-second film, starring Brown in a pair of Red Runners, will debut on the brand’s social media accounts after a February 12th event during New York Fashion Week, showcasing both the women’s and men’s styles against a cool, modern backdrop of neon.
“Quincy is not limited by logistics or other things that most creatives find quite boring. His way of thinking exists outside of the box,” said Louboutin of the final cut. As for Brown “I have learned so much from this project. I used to think fashion was about being a model and looking cute on camera,” he said as the filming wrapped. “By working with designers, I’ve realized it’s about emotion. Fashion can really elevate your attitude and your energy and allow you to be more confident.”
The “Run Loubi Run” upscale runner collection for men and women will be available worldwide on christianlouboutin.com and in Christian Louboutin Boutiques as of Tuesday, Feb. 12.