Wannabe Victoria Beckhams are buying red tester paint pots and painting the soles of their shoes to recreate iconic Louboutin heels on a budget.Sales of red gloss colours such as Duracoat’s ‘Flame’ and ‘Show Stopper’ have soared by 40 per cent compared to the same period last year and Homebase claim the surge is due to women copying the Louboutin shoes worn by their style icons which retail for up to £635.
Christian Louboutin famously came up with the idea of giving all his designs a distinctive red sole in 1992 after painting an assistant’s nail polish onto the bottom of a pair of shoes, because he felt the shoes “lacked energy”. A legend was born, and in no time, flashing a red sole became a badge of honour for the fashion pack and Hollywood stars alike.
Claire Stevenson, 24, a PA from Croydon, wanted her dream pair of Louboutins to wear to her cousin’s wedding and confessed to using the DIY trick.
She said: “There was no way I could afford to buy a pair of Louboutin heels, but I had my heart set on them and felt the pressure to be fashionable at the occasion.
“I bought a £20 pair of plain black shoes and a tester pot and recreated the designer look at home. 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 but I didn’t have the heart to confess they were DIY fakes. It was such a success I plan on doing the same for another pair of heels.”
Peter Rooney, manager at the Homebase store in Acton, London, said sales of the paint have “rocketed.”
He said: “Many people tend to look at magazines to get the right paint colour for walls and furniture, but we’ve noticed significant numbers of girls colour-matching tester pots to pictures of designer shoes in fashion magazines.
“They have also asked staff for tips on how to paint on leather or rubber.”
Homebase senior paint buyer Richard Johnson, said: “Clearly paint is meant for decorating walls rather than shoes, so we are amazed at this new trend that has hit our stores.
‘The Home of Colour tester pots would have enough paint to cover the sole of an average sized shoe, but we would advise people to ensure they apply it properly and then it can achieve a really good visual effect.”
If you fancy having a go yourself, a tester pot will set you back £1.59, though if you’re planning on upgrading your entire shoe collection, it’s probably more cost-effective to go for a 2.5 litre pot for £17.99 .