Christian Louboutin has just done something that could very well be revolutionary! Nude shoes that are true to your skin color.
I love nudes. Nude shoes, nude bras, nude stockings…on everyone else. Personally, I don't wear them. Why? Well, it's pretty obvious. I'm African-American and although I can wear nudes as a color choice, I can not wear them as they wear meant to be worn. I often wondered even as a child why nudes, or flesh-tone as it is sometimes called, never included my flesh-tone. As I grew older, I justified it in my own mind as it being too difficult to mass-produce flesh-toned products for all people. After all, people of varying ethnic groups come in any number of shades. Even makeup ranges, as vast as they are, don't cover all of us (ha! pun), hence the customization. But here's the rub. Varying skin tones aren't just limited to minorities. Someone of Irish heritage isn't the same skin tone as someone of Italian heritage, or even of Scandinavian heritage. So that brings me back full circle. Why can't we have nudes in my skin tone?
Christian Louboutin is asking this same question and doing something about it. According to theDaily Mail UK, the brand is introducing a capsule collection of shoes that promises to elongate the legs by matching the skin. The shoes come in fives shades ranging from fair blush to rich chestnut and five styles from peep toe to pump. There is also a companion app called Louboutin Shades that helps you find the closest shade to your skin tone by taking a picture of your foot and matching it to the shoe (see my foot on the right).
With only five shades available, of course you aren't going to get a perfect match. Clearly I was stuck between two shades. But for me, that's not the point. The mass market is heavily influenced by the luxury market and aspirational lifestyles. Think trickle-down theory. If Christian Louboutin's Nudes takes off, or at least hits a nerve amongst consumers as it has with me, it could very well influence how nude shades are produced and marketed. Think of the possibilities. When asking friends on facebook what would they want if nudes came in their skin tone, I got a variety of answers mostly on par with mine. Nude tights, not semi-sheer or that hideous coffee brown some companies make for darker skin. Nude bras for coverage in sheer or backless tops. Nude undies for for light and white trousers. These are things some people take for granted but others of us (myself included) have never experienced. Not only that, but it also acknowledges the buying power of people of color in a market that doesn't represent us well, especially on the runway.
I've never found myself rooting for a luxury brand. Just because, well, they're too chic for cheerleaders. Only gushers need apply. Today, however, I'm not gushing, but am loudly cheering this move by Christian Louboutin. It is the right step, in the right direction and I hope other brands, specifically mass-market brands happily knock it off take inspiration.
Let the revolution begin!