Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Louboutins by Brito

Imitation is flattery. Imitating good stuff like Guccis and Rolexes and Coaches is a compliment, in a way. And aping precious products, well, has a role. Poor people, thrifty people, deceiving people and lots of other people revel in being able to look chic for pennies on the dollar. Who could blame them? But there are limits...

OK, OK, what's the dust up? Soles, man! Soles, not souls. Red soles, not dead souls.* Be clear, nobody thinks this stuff has to do with THE SOUL, but almost...

Red soles = Louboutin

Christian Louboutin is a 47 year old (1/7/64) shoe genius. After leaving school at the age of 12, he began his creative journey in shoe-ery. Popularizing the sexiness of the high heeled pump, he tapped an eager market of cool women and turned-on men. In an effort to underscore his message, he struck upon the glossy red sole. Soon the red soled shoe became his signature. He explained...
"In 1992 I incorporated the red sole into the design of my shoes. This happened by accident as I felt that the shoes lacked energy so I applied red nail polish to the sole of a shoe. This was such a success that it became a permanent fixture."
Yup, as might be guessed, the red soled faux Louboutin is the object of some serious pirating. While US trademark protection has been granted, no ultimate success has been yet attained**. The fraud of illegal copying is so problematic for Louboutin that he has armed a department to fight against the pilfering of his intellectual and actual ideations. ebay...

So the latest twist is the creation of the sole-red-look for $35. That is, any shoe can be louboutin-ized! Indeed, beware the BRITO. Byron Brito*** is a cobbler (old words can have such a resounding ring), at Andrade Shoe Repair. Seemingly an inauspicious businessman, il Brito has developed a process of making any shoe look like a Louboutin. Considering that the real scarpe cost $600 or more, what's the address of Andrade??

"I don't see the obsession, but if people want me to do it, I'll do it," he said. 
Brito -- who advertises the "red-sole upgrade" on the window of his shop -- got the idea when women marched in with legit Louboutins in need of repair. 
"The sole's very thin," he said. 
Brito added red rubber to protect the front, but the shade was slightly off from the rest of the sole, so he began to custom-blend paint in order to have the entire sole look uniform so no one would notice that the shoe had been doctored. 
He now applies the same treatment to ordinary shoes, or simply paints the entire sole red.
At any rate, it is more than likely the legal letter is headed for Brito, like a painted red soled seeking missile. Louboutin will shut him down. Is there a choice?

YES there is! That registered letter, the cease and desist epistle, needs to have enclosed, a check. Money? Yes, why?
  • Brito has created more advertising in the mass market than Louboutin ever enjoyed.
  • The name Louboutin has become mainstream.
  • Who reads the NY Post anyways?
  • The Post story went viral, resulting in unparalleled name exposure for Louboutin.
  • Brito has exposed THE shortcoming of the Louboutin, the dirty little secret nobody talks about...
  • And furthermore, Brito has solved THAT shortcoming.
The Louboutin sole is subject to wear stress and degradation. What can a woman do when her Louboutin soles become scratched and worn? Send them back to the factory? Er, well, yeah, but isn't that impractical. Regional registered "repair" sites are needed. Brito should be awarded the #1 certificate for Louboutin resuscitation. Yes? Y-E-S!!

E cosi va

*Dead Souls is a novel, written by Nikolai Gogol, in 1842.

***In the latest round of events to piss of Christian Louboutin, a cobbler at Andrade Shoe Repair has been resoling everyday, cheapo shoes with red bottoms to make them look like Louboutins. According to a post from Madison Avenue Spy, "customers are purchasing a variety of shoe brands and requesting he restyle the footwear with the red rubber he uses to resole his customer's Louboutins." Resoling actual Louboutins is usually necessary anyway (what with the zero traction and all) so why not just start applying the same red rubber onto regular shoes and really cash in?

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