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Wannabe fashionistas painting soles of their shoes to create faux Louboutins

Women desperate to appear on the cutting edge of fashion have started heading down the street to their local craft store. Why? To buy little tubes of red paint to paint the soles of their shoes to imitate the iconic Louboutin heels on a budget.

In England, sales of red glossy paints with names like Duracoat’s ‘Flame’ and ‘Show Stopper’ have increased by a whopping 40% compared to the same period last year. One big craft supply store in the United Kingdom, Homebase, says the reason is clearly thanks to the recent trend of copying the nearly thousand-dollar shoes.

Christian Louboutin, the renowned designer, came up with the idea in 1992 after painting an assistant’s bright red nail polish on the bottom of a pair of shoes to add some energy to the otherwise dull heels. The move sparked a trend and flashing red soles was seen as a mark of person’s fashion pedigree. Women are now coming into stores with pages torn out of magazines to match the right color to the designer shoes. The staff at such stores is encountering questions about how to properly paint on leather or rubber surfaces.

One woman admitted to knocking off the shoes after wanting to wear them to a friend’s wedding but knowing she would not be able to afford the real deal. She decided to instead go out and buy a pair of $20 black pumps and a small tube of red paint to get the desired look. She painted them carefully and let them dry overnight and voila! Perfect faux Louboutins. “I received so many compliments at the wedding about my gorgeous shoes but I didn’t have the heart to confess they were DIY fakes. It was such a success I plan on doing the same for another pair of heels.”

These wannabe fashionistas with tastes greater than their pocketbooks do not appear to be concerned about the ongoing trademark battle taking place between the Louboutin and Yves St. Laurent SAS/France fashion houses. Louboutin has sued Yves St. Laurent over sales of red-soled shoes which it says violate Louboutin’s trademark.

The designer himself said that the suit is not over the color, but instead about “a precise red, used in a precise location.” He says that colors play a part in a brand’s identity and gives the examples of Ferrari red and Cadbury’s purple packaging. Some have said trademarking a color is ridiculous, but Louboutin has friends in high places with Tiffany filing its own brief arguing that a color – like the blue of its famous Tiffany boxes – can indeed be trademarked and should not be allowed to be copied.

Source:Cash-Strapped Women Are Painting Their Shoe Soles Red To Look Like Louboutins,” published at

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  1. […] importance of design protection in the fashion world has been in the news a lot recently. As we mentioned, Christian Louboutin has been embroiled in a lengthy suit with other fashion brands over the color […]

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