Women painting soles red to get 'Louboutin look'
Famed for their iconic red soles, French footwear guru Christian Louboutin's talons are the footwear of choice for fashionistas including Victoria Beckham and Dita Von Teese.
But according to a new report, ladies in the UK who want the Louboutin look but can't afford the exclusive price tag have been taking to recreating the style with a spot of DIY.
A release by UK homeware store Homebase revealed sales of its Home of Colour tester pots in shocking red colours Flame and Show Stopper have increased by 40 percent year-on-year this week.
"While many people tend to look at magazines to get the right paint colour for walls, we have recently noticed a significant number of girls in the store colour matching the tester pots to pictures of designer shoes in fashion magazines and requesting tips on how to paint on leather or rubber," said Homebase store manager Peter Rooney of the London Acton branch.
Claire, 24, from Croydon, had hoped to wear Louboutins to her cousin's wedding, but admits she opted for the DIY method to save money -- painting the soles of a pair of black patent heels with Homebase Flame paint.
"I carefully painted the soles, let them dry overnight, and by the next day they were ready to wear. I received so many compliments at the wedding about my gorgeous shoes, and no one questioned whether they were fake or not, but I didn't have the heart to confess that they were DIY designer heels," she explains.
While Claire's relatives may have had no doubts, it's yet to be seen whether the fashion pack would be fooled by the method, and Louboutin himself has a sharp eye when it comes to imitations.
His famous red soles have been the subject of imitations in the past, and the designer even created an online platform called Stop Fake - Christian Louboutin to crack down on e-commerce sites selling knockoffs of his footwear. He also famously filed a lawsuit against Yves Saint Laurent in April 2011 over claims the label copied his famous red soles.
For ladies looking to get the high-end look on a budget, here are some top tips for creating DIY red-soled shoes -- courtesy of Homebase.
Top tips for creating DIY red soles:
- Prime sole with a multi-purpose primer.
- Paint with a gloss rather than an emulsion paint.
- Use Homebase's Home of Colour Flame or Show Stopper paints for the best colour match.
- Seal the colour with a Homebase's Surface Sealer for a longer lasting finish.
- Use a thin, small brush to keep painting accurate and neat.
- Don't forget to cover the rest of the shoe whilst painting to avoid unwanted marks on the main body of the shoe.