For too long, “nude” has been used in fashion to refer to lipstick, underwear, tights and shoes to match one skin tone only — no prizes for guessing what the default “nude” is. But things are slowly changing.
Over the last couple of years, more lingerie and hosiery brands have expanded their ranges to acknowledge the fact that skin comes in more colors than sand, and in March the BBC announced that ballet shoes will soon be available for non-white dancers. A collaboration between ballet shoe manufacturer Bloch and Royal Ballet soloist Eric Underwood has led to the production of what they claim is the world’s first black flesh-tone ballet shoe, coined “Eric Tan.”
And now, French designer Christian Louboutin has launched a collection of ballet flats (for non-dancers, this time) in shades to suit all skin tones.
The beautiful, pointed-toe Solasofia ballerina flat is available in seven versatile shades of nude to “ensure every woman can meet her match.”
In 2013 Louboutin launched his “Nudes For All” collection of heeled pumps with the signature red sole, and the new range includes two more shades: “Porcelain” and “Deep chocolate.”
The news of the new shades has been well received by Louboutin fans on social media.
Twitter user @historyinpearls wrote: “I’ve never really been a Louboutin fan but I kind of love him for making his line of nude shoes in seven different shades,” while @Jaxsapreincess tweeted: “I don’t need food coffee or sleep to get me through this week but I NEED a pair of the nude Christian Louboutin flats.”
Another commenter pointed out that Louboutin is “the only luxury brand that does this,” adding, “They may ‘only’ be shoes but you’re making a difference by designing and retailing inclusiveness and diversity.”
The new nude Loubs are excellent news for women who have struggled to find skin-tone shoes darker than beige, ivory or sand. However, not everyone sees the range as being for “every woman.” At $595 a pair, the Christian Louboutin Solasofia ballet flat certainly doesn’t suit all budgets, and the “Señora” open-toe pump and signature “Pigalle Follies” stiletto are even pricier.
Come on high street, let’s see you follow in those inclusive, red-soled footsteps.