Louboutin Examines The Narrow Definition Of Nude With New Line
French luxury designer Christian Louboutin challenges the notion of 'nude'
In theory, a ‘nude’ product should match the wearer’s skin color. But ‘nude’ in practice is usually a variation of beige with pinkish undertones which results it only really being an accurate skin tone for a small fraction of the world’s population. French luxury footwear and fashion designer Christian Louboutin, known for their famous shiny, red-lacquered soles have been championing a new notion of nude. In 2015 Louboutin expanded its nude palette to five different shades and this spring is adding two more.
The decision to expand the representation of nude was inspired from a conversation that Christian Louboutin had with a colleague. While Louboutin was working on a ‘nude’ shoe, a team member bluntly stated ‘beige is not the color of my skin.’ The comment struck Louboutin and made him recognize the need for nude to be a spectrum rather than just a single shade. The brand now has a range of nude footwear with colors from ‘porcelain’ to ‘deep chocolate.’ Louboutin’s Instagram followers have taken note of the more accurate spectrum of nude and are expressing gratitude.
As an industry fashion has lagged behind in their representation of races and ethnicities on runways and magazine covers. While there are many discussions on why this is, one of the strongest and most reoccurring is the fact that people of color don’t hold positions of power with major fashion. People of color aren’t in the room when decision on who makes it on a cover or the choosing the models walking the runway.
With a global customer base, the definition of nude for most fashion brands is remarkably narrow. The business case alone for updating the idea of what nude is for the industry is both lucrative and compelling. It would serve all fashion brands to re-examine how they define nude and adopt Louboutin’s desire to make their clients from around the world included in the definition.