Sunday, 22 July 2012

DIY Louboutins - source of inspiration, or plain plagiarism?

Greetings people!

Having been invited by my lovely friend Karen Buckley to join the Diamond Blogging Dolls as a guest  Sunday blogger, this will be my maiden blog post. As I too am a Fashion Marketing and Textile Design student, I share many interests and hobbies with both my fellow-bloggers, but believe I can bring something different to the table.

I hope you will all follow me on my journey over the next couple of months, where I will go through quite a few controversial topics. First stop: Christian Louboutin!

I - along with every other woman on the planet - have "a thing" for shoes. As some of you might have seen in one of Karen's previous posts, we went to see the Christian Louboutin exhibition at the Design Museum, which was an orgasmic experience! The shoes are simply fabulous. Fabulous, but pricy - which brings me to the core of today's debate: where is the line between DIY and simply copying?

The other day I was looking through my daily Vogue newsletter, when I came across an article about the increasing amount of young women, who buy cheap stilettos and paint the soles red. In some cases the women even brought pictures and magazine advertisements to paint shops, so they could sufficiently colour-match the signature red sole of the iconic Louboutins!

My first response was surprise, which was quickly followed by rage! I have always been against buying counterfeited goods, and making them yourself is not the least bit better. As a coming designer, I can in no way support "stealing" ideas and designs - even if the designer is already well-established and financially stabile. In the majority of cases, the designer started out as a nobody, and has had to work very hard to get to where he/she is today, and all that hard work and risk-taking has to be respected.

I can fully relate to how frustrating it can be, finding yourself in the situation of wanting something out of your price range, but if you ask me, there is only two possibilities: save up or let it go. That is what I do!

I completely support the individual desire to creatively express yourself through DIY by fixing up old rags, drawing inspiration from designers, or buying the high street version of current styles, but counterfeits or even high street spins of signature pieces is unacceptable! Particularly in the case of Louboutins it spoils the entire idea behind the design. The USP of a Louboutin is the red sole, and when you see someone walking down the street in shoes with red soles, you are probably thinking to yourself: "Hmm... Loubou's, not bad!" I simply don't understand, why anyone would like to wear fakes? If you like the particular design of a shoe, you would probably be able to find something similar in Office for a fragment of the price, but when you pick a random shoe and paint the sole red, it reeks of "I-desperately-want-to-be-part-of-the-club".

It was even mentioned in a section, that a woman had painted the soles of her wedding shoes. What is the point? Is it the illusion of money, which has such mass-appeal? I must confess, I don't understand. It would be like writing Versace on the label of Primark dress with a permanent marker: wrong!

I am well aware that quite a number of people would probably disagree with me on this one, but what do you think? Is it okay to paint the soles of £20 shoes, to make them look like Louboutins? Comments are welcomed!

(Also, I have linked the Vogue article below, in case anyone would be interested in reading, what started this whole debate)

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