Christian Louboutin and Pierre Yovanovitch perch chairs on legs informed by "iconic women"

Chairs with high heels for feet feature in this seating collection from French designers Pierre Yovanovitch and Christian Louboutin, meant to reflect “female individuality”.

Unveiled at Yovanovitch’s gallery in New York City, the duo’s latest collaboration includes nine bespoke oakwood chairs influenced by female muses from throughout history, mythology and film – Dita, Josefina, Syrena, Nefertari, Zenobie, Radicalla, Morphea, Metropolissa and Pompadour.

Pierre Yovanovitch and Christian Louboutin have designed a series of chairs. Photo by Eric Petschek

“The concept of using figurative women’s feet as the front legs of a chair came to me, and the idea to collaborate with Christian Louboutin quickly followed suit,” Yovanovitch told Dezeen.

“With his enthusiastic acceptance, we collectively expanded upon the concept and crafted chairs that represent iconic women.”

Interior view of chair collection at Pierre Yovanovitch Mobilier New York Gallery
The collection is on display at Pierre Yovanovitch’s New York Gallery. Photo by Eric Petschek

The Nefertari chair, named after ancient Egyptian queen Nefertari, channels royalty with golden-bronze heels added to the feet while Zenobie is a homage to the third-century queen of Palmyra in modern-day Syria with a band of turquoise stones around its front legs.

Metallic, leather-seated Metropolissa is a futuristic homage to the classic 1927 film Metropolis by Fritz Lang, which features one of the first depictions of a female robot in science fiction.

The Zenobie chair by Pierre Yovanovitch and Christian Louboutin
The Zenobie chair pays homage to queen Zenobia of Palmyra. Photo by Jean Pierre Vaillancourt

Meanwhile Syrena, meaning mermaid in Polish, is finished with marine-blue fabric and fishnet-covered legs.

Another design that draws on mythology is Morphea, which nods to the Greek god of sleep and dreams with its cloudy upholstery and gold-painted feet that fade into the chair’s blond wood base.

Close-up of Syrena feet
Fishnet tights cover the chair legs of Syrena. Photo by Jean Pierre Vaillancourt

Dita evokes the burlesque costumes of American dancer Dita Von Teese, finished with silver heels and sequin-embroidered, laser-engraved upholstery.

Josefina, named in honour of popular 1920s dancer and world war two spy Josephine Baker, also includes embroidered seating with leather fringe.

Close-up of Dita heel
Dita evokes the burlesque costumes of Dita Von Teese with silver heels. Photo by Jean Pierre Vaillancourt

The Pompadour’s gilded metal heels are reminiscent of 1750s French Crescent dressers in a nod to Madame de Pompadour, a mistress and advisor to French king Louis XV.

Accompanying the limited edition collection is a series titled Simply Nude, directly referencing Louboutin’s Nudes skin tone shoe range of five shades, originally launched in 2013.

Close-up shot of The Pompadour chair feet
Gilded metal heels adorn the Pompadour. Photo by Jean Pierre Vaillancourt

The feet of the Simply Nude chairs also showcase Louboutin’s signature red-soled heels.

“The Simply Nude series are a paired down version of the limited edition works in that they reference female individuality more broadly but do not depict one single character or allegory,” Yovanovitch said.

“In Christian’s case, fashion by its nature is about how wearing something tells a story,” the designer continued. “For me, weaving narratives into living spaces is a work in progress, it is something that is central to my practice but not fully developed yet.”

Behind the craft of these chairs is a roster of French artisans picked by Louboutin and Yovanovitch.

Interior view of Simply Nude chair collection at Pierre Yovanovitch Mobilier New York Gallery
The Simply Nude series references Louboutin’s Nudes shoe range. Photo by Eric Petschek

Among them are embroidery ateliers Maisons Vermont and Lesage Interieurs, which traditionally work for haute-couture fashion houses, fabric painter Christophe Martin and Christian Louboutin’s cobbler Minuit Moins 7, who was responsible for the upholstery work.

“Designing a chair is a very constrained exercise: the general dimensions and angles are very much fixed,” Yovanovitch said. “Designing a shoe is even more constrained and technical.”

“In both cases, there is huge space for creativity and in both cases, reliance on strong craftsmanship is key.”

Interior shot of Simply Nude chairs
Simply Nude chairs are available in a variety of oak finishes. Photo by Eric Petschek

Although best known for his luxury footwear, Louboutin has been branching out into interiors in recent years via several collaborations with Yovanovitch.

In 2023, he unveiled his first hospitality project – a hotel in Portugal – and this year, he is set to be a judge at the 2024 Dezeen Awards.

Portrait shot of Pierre Yovanovitch and Christian Louboutin lifting a chair
Pierre Yovanovitch and Christian Louboutin teamed up for the project. Photo by Alessio Boni

Following a tenure at fashion house Pierre Cardin as a menswear designer, Yovanovitch founded his own Paris-based studio in 2001 focusing on interior architecture and design.

In 2021, Yovanovitch launched his furniture brand, Pierre Yovanovitch Mobilier, followed by the opening of his first US showroom and gallery in Manhattan. Some of his most recognisable designs include the sheepskin Bear Armchair based on the fairy tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Pierre Yovanovitch and Christian Louboutin’s collection is on show at Pierre Yovanovitch Mobilier New York Gallery from 3 to 24 May 2024. See Dezeen Events Guide for more architecture and design events around the world.

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