We all know that, in the fashion world, “nude” actually means “a very specific skin color”. Which is horrible, because nude accessories and clothes can be super sexy, stylish and fashionable, but it’s no fun when only white ladies can enjoy them.
If you are a brown girl, then you know the pain that it comes with trying to find a “nude” bra that actually matches your skin color. Or “nude” lipstick that doesn’t look like you are dressing up as a clown. If we go by the fashion industry’s attitude, there is exactly one correct shade of “nude”, and it’s not yours. And yes, the nude heels trend was yet another reminder that you are different and invisible to the industry as a whole.
Fashion blogs, magazines and shows everywhere keep reminding us that nude heels are a must-have staple in any wardrobe. They are sexy, they elongate your legs, they go with everything and they are not available in your skin tone. Except they might be. In 2013, Christian Louboutin revealed five different shades of nude shoes in a capsule collection. And this year, he added two extra hues to his palette.
The company said that the five shades of nude will be available for the new summer line, and the two extra ones will hit the collections next year. A spokesperson stated that Louboutin is trying to offer more women the possibility of owning a fantastic pair of shoes that are actually “nude” for them. These seven shades do not encompass every skin color, of course, but the company seems to be in a good path and there is a possibility that they will bring even darker shades of brown in the future.
Louboutins are not exactly cheap, they go for $700 a pair and, as such, they are cost-prohibitive to a lot of women. However, this is still a pretty big deal. A luxury brand recognizing brown women is a step in the right direction for the entire fashion industry, especially when we are talking about a name as iconic and influential as Louboutin. Hopefully in a few months we’ll start to see the new shades in mid-range stores and cheaper brands too. And we’ll be a little bit closer to redefining “nude”.
Makeup brands, lingerie and fashion designers can take a cue from Louboutin and realize that catering to a wider audience actually makes good business sense. It’s about time we stop thinking of “nude” as a color strangely similar to “beige” and realize that everybody’s nude is different, and multiple shades of nude shoes can help us do that. Next step: band-aids.