Christian Louboutin is inextricable from two words: red soles. The Parisian shoemaker has been sheathing his soles in scarlet for almost 20 years, a signature that makes his footwear instantly identifiable (and one he's gone to court to protect). Some shoes are staples he reinvents, like Very Privé, a heel with a hidden platform, an open toe and a svelte spike. But Louboutin is also known for experimental whimsy. He has adorned shoes with googly eyes, pockets, giant fur cuffs, graffiti and tape measures. Today he's a usual suspect on the red carpet. His shoes which can cost more than $5,000 a pair are emphatic, soaring, often shiny statements that the wearer values fashion. "A shoe has so much more to offer," Louboutin once said, "than just to walk."