Christian Louboutin is a French footwear designer whose styles incorporate shiny, red-lacquered soles that have become the brand’s signature. Louboutin designed women's shoes for Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and Maud Frizon. In the late 1980s, he turned away from fashion to become a landscape gardener and to contribute to Vogue but missed working with shoes and set up his company in 1991. With funds from two backers, he opened a Paris shoe salon in 1991 with Princess Caroline of Monaco as his first customer. Though Louboutin shoes are a status symbol for many of Hollywood’s elite, including Oprah Winfrey and others, the single biggest client is author Danielle Steele, who is reputed to own more than 6,000 pairs and is known to have purchased up to 80 pairs at a time when shopping at Christian Louboutin stores.