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Christian Louboutin celebrates friendship, artisanship with charity project

April 14, 2016

Christian Louboutin Africaba tote Christian Louboutin Africaba tote


French footwear and accessories label Christian Louboutin is sending support to women in Senegal through a partnership with a local initiative.

The brand has developed a vibrant tote bag in collaboration with Valérie Schlumberger and La Maison Rose, a house in Dakar that shelters vulnerable women and their children and educates the mothers in skilled embroidery. Through sales of the Africaba bag, Christian Louboutin is giving back to La Maison Rose’s programs, allowing fashionistas to make a marked difference along with a sartorial statement.

Friends of the cause
The handmade Africaba bags are unique, each mixing prints in bright hues. The shoulder straps are embellished with traditional beading, while the Christian Louboutin logo and a crest are embroidered on the side.

Hanging off the tote is a charm depicting a woman from the African region, given a Christian Louboutin touch with a spike detail.

“It’s not about perfection," said Christian Louboutin in a brand statement. "The charm is in the idiosyncrasies and slight differences which emerge when you are working with people who make things by hand."

Ms. Schlumberger, a long-time friend of the house’s eponymous fashion designer, is the founder of the Company of Senegal and West Africa, which works to preserve and distribute artisan craft from the citizens of West Africa. With each purchase of an Africaba tote, 10 percent of proceeds will go toward CSAO, which will then support La Maison Rose’s efforts to give women an opportunity for independence.

Promoting the initiative, a social animation depicts Mr. Louboutin and Ms. Schlumberger in cartoon form, as they make one of the tote bags magically appear.

Charity campaigns feel more genuine when a brand's face has close ties to the cause.

U.S. apparel label Marc Jacobs used fashion to make a difference this past holiday season through a partnership with The Sato Project.

The brand created a specially designed t-shirt to benefit the organization, which works to rescue abused and abandoned dogs from Puerto Rico. To promote the charity campaign, Marc Jacobs turned to its namesake designer’s pet bull terrier Neville, himself a celebrity (see story).