Last week, Christian Louboutin — the talented shoemaker to the beaumonde and cast members of the Real Housewives of Atlanta alike — announced the launch of his #NudesForAll campaign.
This new campaign is a continuation of Loutboutin's 2013 Nude Collection, which originally offered his customers five "true-to-life" shades in the classic Pigalle style heel. Now the designer is introducing an evolution of the "nude" trend, which had polarized many consumers who felt the color palette was far too narrow and white-washed.
Louboutin has been working to close this diversity gap within the luxury market. As reported by The Independent, the designer recently argued, "Nude is not a color, it's a concept."
The latest selection of shoes set to hit stores in August will offer two new colors, broadening the Deepik and Dorissima pump collection to include shades from "fair to chestnut." The designer enlisted influencers of varying skin tones — Nina Garcia, Shiona Turini, and Jane Keltner de Valle — to test-drive the pumps for themselves, and showcase the range of consumers the styles can reach.
And while some may balk at the lofty price tag — the shoes start at $675 — the investment purchase is one of the few prestige products that challenges the profile of the luxury consumer and the racist implications the "nude" trend promotes.
The "nude" trend, as it existed — with a white, pale skin tone as the stasis — was very exclusionary. A "nude" for a potential consumer with, say, brown skin, would be deeper and tanner than the pale option often provided by most brands and retailers. The failure to accommodate a large portion of a consumer base with real-life color options — acknowledging a spectrum of skin tones — seems to suggest not only a negligence, but an underlying belief there isn't one necessarily to serve. With the red bottom sole as its calling card, Louboutins have come to be a symbol of wealth, good taste, and aspiration; literally coating that image in a diverse color palette reworks unconscious or conscious prejudices of who may be able to identify with those ideals.
But even more so, it's just damn good business: I'll happily take a pair in this fetching shade of tan. Size IT 40. Thanks.
Images via Christian Loubutin.
Marjon Carlos is a style and culture writer for Fusion who boasts a strong turtleneck game and opinions on the subjects of fashion, gender, race, pop culture, and men's footwear.