Christian Louboutin can sue a designer for copying his signature red soles, but can he sue an entire city? According to the Telegraph, sales in red paint have skyrocketed in London due to the equally rapid rise of Louboutin DIY-ers. UK’s leading home enhancement retailer Homebase has nailed two paint colors that are near-identical to the shade of the French footwear designer’s distinctive hue, which he developed in 1992. Bargain-hunting girls across the pond have no shame and are apparently buying these paint pots in droves.
The two colors responsible for the 40% sale increase are Duracoat’s "Flame" and "Show Stopper." Homebase staffers reveal that they’ve noticed "significant numbers of girls colour-matching tester pots to pictures of designer shoes in fashion magazines" and have been asking for "tips on how to paint on leather or rubber."
Pretty bold, right? I mean, I’m all for DIY projects (there are some pretty clever ones out there), but there’s a thin line between saluting a designer’s work and straight-up stealing their signature details. On the flip side, it looks like these girls (so far) are just painting their own soles to make themselves feel good rather than for the purpose of mass distribution, so it’s less threatening than the ongoing counterfeit bag controversy. Either way, the trend is growing fast enough to make paint sales spike, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Louboutin eventually speaks out.