If you can’t afford Christian Louboutin’s famous red soled shoes but are desperate for a pair, take a hint from the savvy fashionistas who are buying red paint to turn their ordinary heels into Louboutins.
Women are flocking to buy tester paint pots in a bid to copy celebrity Louboutin fans including Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian and Blake Lively, according to DIY store Homebase.
The shoemaker’s signature shade is Pantone-18 Chinese Red, and tiny pots of similarly bright red paint are available in Homebase for just £1.49 (compared to £600 or more for a pair of the real things). Streetwise women are giving their shoes a fake-over, with the store seeing demand for ‘Flame’ and ‘Show Stopper’ shades soaring by 40 per cent.
Claire Stevenson, 24, of Croydon wanted a pair of Louboutins for her cousin’s wedding but instead of forking out £600 for a classic pair she jazzed up a pair of high street heels with a lick of red paint.
[Related article: Zara wins court case against Louboutin to sell red-soled shoes]
“There was no way I could afford to buy a pair of nude, patent Louboutins for the wedding, but I had my heart set on them and felt the pressure to be fashionable at the occasion”, she said.
“I bought a £20 pair of plain nude shoes and a tester pot of red paint and decided to recreate the designer look myself at home.
“I carefully painted the soles red, 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.”
“It was such a success I plan on doing the same for another pair of heels.”
[Related article: Spot the difference - Jessica Simpson copies Louboutin heels]
Peter Rooney, Homebase manager at Acton, West London said: “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.”
Louboutin is very protective of his trademark red sole, he sued Spanish retailer Zara in 2008, claiming that an open-toe red-soled shoe from the store was similar to his Yo Yo creation.
But last month a French court ruled that Zara’s shoe could not be confused with ones made by the fashion designer and the final court of appeal upheld the decision.
Last year Louboutin also accused Yves Saint Laurent of copying his celebrated red-soled footwear when the brand used a similar theme in the 2011 resort collection.
That lawsuit resulted in a high-court appeal case in the US, the verdict of which is yet to be decided.
We’re just hoping our paint pot plan slips under his radar!