As a result, the 49-year-old said, he grew up with "the biggest love and the biggest respect for women".
A giant 3D hologram of a burlesque dancer greeted footwear-lovers Monday at a playful London exhibition marking 20 years since celebrated French shoe designer Christian Louboutin first set up shop.
The exhibition at London's Design Museum features dozens of the Frenchman's creations, many of them displayed on a 17-metre (56-foot) version of the famous scarlet sole that features every Louboutin shoe.
Lashings of glitter, ruffles and feathers reflect Louboutin's life-long fascination with showgirls, as does an enormous hologram of a glittering stiletto that turns into the sashaying image of burlesque star Dita von Teese.
"But I do not wish to have that evoked in my designs. The idea of someone saying 'Oh my God, how comfortable it looks...'" He shudders.
But recalling how Parisian showgirl friends would stuff their shoes with veal carpaccio to make them more comfortable, he conceded that "to suffer to be beautiful doesn't work".
"It doesn't give you a nice smile," he said. "The aim with his stilettos is to make them "as comfortable as possible for that kind of shoe".
The discomfort does not put off a host of celebrity fans including actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Victoria Beckham, fashion designer and wife of English football star David Beckham.
The exhibition takes visitors through the design process, from sketches to prototypes to the factory floor.
Louboutin's witty designs, some of which are displayed with magnifying glasses to allow closer examination, include shoes featuring miniature Marie Antoinette-style wigs, and stilettos made entirely from plastic googly eyes. (AFP Relax News)