Leave it to Christian Louboutin to turn a ballerina into a red-soled diva. The French shoe designer was recently quoted as saying, “Isn’t the classical dancing ballet slipper the ultimate heel? The heel which makes dancers closer than any other women to the sky, closer to heaven.” And how many inches does it take for a woman in heels to get to heaven? Eight, according to him.

Louboutin donated a pair of one-of-a-kind, sky-high Swarovski ballet heels to a silent auction benefitting the English National Ballet (ENB). The ballet company, now more than 60 years old, is well known for making classical ballet more contemporary and accessible to the masses. But after the Arts Council England announced a slew of grant reductions this spring – including a 15% reduction in funding for ENB programs until 2015 – the company was forced to find financial support elsewhere.
On June 29, the ENB hosted a summer party and fundraiser at the royal Kensington Palace in London. The silent auction featured bespoke tutus by designers such as Erdem, Moschino and Agent Provacateur, as well as a host of custom tiaras and shoes. Louboutin’s heels were estimated to raise close to $80,000. All of the evening’s profits will support the ENB’s upcoming performances and tours.