MORE FAMOUS FACES: Speaking of actors and ad campaigns, Op has tapped a group of up-and-comers from shows such as “Glee” and “Gossip Girl” for its spring ad campaign. R&B singer Cassie joins “Glee” actors Dianna Agron and Cory Monteith, along with Jessica Szohr of “Gossip Girl,” in summer block party-inspired images, shot at Universal Studios in California. Ads will launch in the May issues of Elle, Teen Vogue and Cosmopolitan. Teen Vogue and Seventeen will have ads printed on metallic paper, to further integrate the campaign’s theme of “rock your shine.”
Op, which is sold exclusively at Wal-Mart, is expanding its online presence this season, with behind-the-scenes photos and b-roll on the brand’s Facebook page and its Web site. This isn’t the first time the California-inspired brand has gone the celebrity route in its ads: Last year’s Op campaign featured “90210” starlet AnnaLynne McCord. “One Tree Hill” actress Sophia Bush, Solange Knowles and Brody Jenner from MTV’s “The Hills.” — Amy Wicks
A WALK IN HIS SHOES: While most retailers last year saw a dramatic decline in business, Christian Louboutin claims to have emerged unscathed. In a piece in the May issue of Vanity Fair, the shoe designer said his business grew by double digits in 2009 (he sells more than 340,000 pairs of shoes annually, with prices that start at $495 and can reach the high five figures). He told writer Vanessa Grigoriadis that he doesn’t believe in advertising and marketing and said, while some celebrities receive a discount at his stores, he rarely gives shoes away. Louboutin is also very serious about those trademark red soles. Lanvin designer Albert Elbaz asked Louboutin to produce a line for one of his early collections. “At the time, I thought the red sole was too strong for my collection,” says Elbaz. “So I painted them black — a great mistake! He almost killed me.”
Louboutin’s best customers acquire dozens of shoes every year, but his “supertop customer” is author Danielle Steel, who reportedly has at least 6,000 pairs, if not more. “She comes to Paris, and she literally buys everything. Then she flies back to New York, says, ‘I’m a little disappointed — there’s nothing in the store,’ and walks out with 80 pairs,” he grinned. “She is super.” — A.W.