Christian Louboutin decided to become a shoe designer after he saw a sign banning high heels.

The iconic footwear maker says he was inspired to create elaborate heels because dancers were forced to wear flats at the Museum of African and Oceanic Art.

He said: 'I'd already decided I wanted to design shoes after I saw a sign in the Museum of African and Oceanic Art forbidding high heels. Well, who could resist?''

He then rang the Folies (the French music hall) and announced that he wanted to design shoes for the dancers.

He added to the Telegraph newspaper: ''Not that I ever designed a single shoe for them. But I got them coffee - and veal. So much veal. I couldn't work out how they could eat it all. It turned out they were using it to pad their shoes to make them more comfortable.''

Christian is famed for the red soles of his shoes but admits his trademark happened by chance.

He said: ''This shoe arrived back from the factory but for some reason it didn't look quite as good as my sketch. So I used a bottle of red polish to coat the underside of the shoe scarlet. Problem solved.''