How far would you go for a pair of Christian Louboutin heels? In the United Kingdom, women who can’t afford to pay $595 or more for the coveted luxury shoes are taking matters into their own hands by painting the bottoms of cheaper footwear red — the trademark color of Louboutin soles.
How popular is the DIY designer trend there? Very, according to the Telegraph, which reported that sales of red tester-size pots of paint have skyrocketed 40 percent over the last year at the British home improvement store Homebase.
Louboutin’s iconic red soles became a status symbol soon after the designer added the color to a pair of shoes in 1992. Celebrities who regularly wear the label – like Kate Moss, Victoria Beckham, and Blake Lively – add to its allure.
“There was no way I could afford to buy a pair of Louboutin heels, but I had my heart set on them and felt the pressure to be fashionable at the occasion,” Claire Stevenson, a 24-year-old personal assistant told the Telegraph. “I bought a £20 ($31) pair of plain black shoes and a tester pot and recreated the designer look at home. I carefully painted the soles, let them dry overnight, and by the next day they were ready to wear.”
Painting your soles rouge isn’t the only method to achieve the Louboutin look for a more affordable price. E-tailer Rosso Solini offers a three-pack of red stickers to put on your heels for $21.45. There are also a host of Web sites that sell fakes that start at around $169, 70 percent less than the cheapest style of Louboutins.
Louboutin, not surprisingly, isn’t particularly happy about the rise of fakes. The company has adopted a zero tolerance policy and has even started a Web site, stopfakelouboutin.com, to combat the counterfeiters by seizing the imitations and prosecuting those responsible for them.
We understand the desire to own a pair of Louboutins, but really – is painting your soles, or buying illegal goods, worth it? A fake always looks like a fake, and flaunting that style is, in our book, a major fashion faux pas.