The story behind Christian Louboutin's 'Manilacaba'


Posted at May 17 2018 05:00 PM

Christian Louboutin poses in a jeepney with the Manilacaba. Handout

MANILA – Did you know that Christian Louboutin’s newest collection of bags took inspiration from Metro Manila traffic?

Stuck in a traffic jam during his recent visit to Manila, Louboutin was able to take in the city’s colorful culture, leading him to create Manilacaba, the third in his Treasure Cabas collection.

The tote effectively integrates the designs of the iconic jeepney with Louboutin’s signature spikes. It comes in two versions, Denim Blue and Black Satin.

The Manilacaba. Handout

There is also the Piloutin, which honors the natural wonders of the Philippine seas with its pearlescent shells and Swarovski crystals. It can be used with the sea-flower Artemistrap, which is inspired by the sea anemone. 

The Piloutin with the Artemistrap. Handout

“I have always been captivated by the Philippines’ beauty, the perfect combination of sparkles, mother of pearl, and shells. But this project really started to make sense to me when I discovered the richness and the quality of craftsmanship the great women in ASEAN artisans were able to develop,” Louboutin said.

The new bags were designed by Louboutin in partnership with the Gender Responsive Economic Action for the Transformation of Women (GREAT) initiative, a platform supporting the economic empowerment of female artisans in the ASEAN region. 

Louboutin (center) with the women of GREAT. Handout

“Designing the side-panels with Christian was a rich experience,” said GREAT Women in ASEAN co-founder Jeannie Javelosa. “The pattern Christian elaborated for them was new for the artisans who were used to weaving traditional motifs with this technique. But when we saw the encounter of tradition and creativity happen on the fabric, we thought: how interesting, we should have done this before!”

“This is an inspiring story of mutual respect,” Javelosa added.

For every Manilacaba purchased, 10% of benefits will be donated to the initiative to contribute to its development.