Ever notice the brightly colored, baroque hi-tops that Mika wears? Turns out, they were created for the international pop star by celebrity shoe designer Christian Louboutin.
Certainly Mika is known for a fashion-forward sensibility. As he explained in this week’s Metro Weekly cover feature, he’s been into fashion since childhood, raised with four siblings in a London apartment that doubled as his designing mother’s workshop for children’s clothes.
But Mika has never been obsessed with shoes per se. “I don’t even like shoes that much,” he says. “I mean, I like ‘em, but not enough to have 2,000 pairs.” Every last pair in his “expensive collection” are Louboutins, sent by the French shoemaking giant himself. It’s a token of gratitude to Mika from the heretofore women’s designer for helping inspire the launch of Louboutin’s successful line of men’s shoes in the first place.
But Mika wears Louboutins for practical reasons as much as material. “About five years ago, I was having a lot of feet problems,” Mika explains. “After doing all these [European] stadium tours, I wasn’t even able to walk.” It was Mika’s sister Paloma Penniman who actually reached out to Louboutin. The designer then worked with Mika to “develop this shoe that I could dance in, [one] that would also look really good on stage. Because dancing shoes, the stuff you can get at dance shops, are really freaking ugly. Comfortable and flexible, but they’re really ugly.” The Louboutin men’s shoe has reinforced leather in the toe, allowing Mika to dance on his points.
But even though he calls them “super-stylish,” Mika still expresses incredulity at how popular they’ve become.
“I see all these guys walking around in these shoes, and some of them are, you know, super-butch guys,” he says. “And all these hip-hop guys walking around in Christian Louboutin sneakers. With all the kind of blingy stuff all over them. And they’re so beautiful, the shoes. But I sit there thinking, I wonder if these guys have any idea that these shoes were designed so that a man could dance on his points on stage? Do they realize they’re wearing point shoes?”
As a side note, in this week’s Q&A with Mika, the singer-songwriter speaks of the sound mating foxes make, something he hears in his garden in London. “There’s nothing more horrific to hear,” he says. “It sounds like something from a horror movie.” Turns out, as you can hear from this far-too-long YouTube clip, Mika was right. There’s nothing foxy about the sound.