When Christian Louboutin debuted his Nudes Collection in the summer of 2013, it was a watershed moment for those of us living in the world of fashion and beauty. Like so many other women of color, I thought – WOW. Yassssss. Finally! Hashtag heaven. I said to myself – I’m going to save forever. I’m going to mentally overcome the decadence of spending $700 on shoes. I’m going to learn to walk nonchalantly in 120mm pumps, gliding seamlessly from the office to after work drinks. Imma learn to do all of that.
Needless to say – all of that – never happened. Being raised frugal by a mother who could feed a stadium on a $20 budget, it was too hard to justify the price tag. My brain could not – would not – do it, even when the money was at hand. And that’s the same for many of our readers who have sent us their DMs and emails about THEIR favorite alternatives to the Louboutin Nudes. At FleshTone.net HQ, at least one of our contributors is the proud owner of Pigalle pumps in her FleshTone. While she says almost nothing comes close to that perfection – we thought we could at least try and track down some alternatives that would suit a wider range of household budgets.
So – notwithstanding that the bar has been set very high by Mr Louboutin, at FleshTone.net, we’ve compiled the people’s choice awards of dupes/alternatives to the Louboutin Nudes collection, for you, our readers.
1. OFFICE (UK) ‘ONTO POINT’ COURT HEELS
(Photo copyright Office UK)
Established in the early 80s, OFFICE is a British high street brand that’s now moved into other European countries, and can be found readily online and in select Top Shop stores in the USA. To be honest, for us, OFFICE was (once upon a time) synonymous with sporting shoes/labels. However, many of our readers have pointed out there is also a great range of Office UK own-label shoes, including some sexy FleshTone options.
The ‘Onto Point’ court pumps come in 5 NUDE SHADES (‘light nude’, ‘nude’, camel, mocha and cocoa) and are super classy looking. The heel is stiletto (11cm/4.3 inches) and the great news is, it’s a leather shoe. They run true to size, and for a stiletto heel – they are surprising comfortable. Priced from £68 with rather cheap international shipping, it’s our number one Louboutin alternative at FleshTone.net. Shop them here.
2. House of CB ‘Paris’ Pumps
(Photo copyright House of CB)
The owner/creator of House of CB is 23 YEARS OLD. That in itself is worth a mention. With major celeb patronage (e.g. Kim K, Beyonce, JLo – the list goes on), the brand is not as expensive as you might think. The Paris Heels are a trendy leather design and have a 5 inch killer stiletto heel. The collection carries about 4 NUDE SHADES, being Pale Pink, ‘Nude’, Tan and Dark Tan. The ‘Antique Rose’ hue is also a great option for light skintones. While the tan and dark tan colors are not exactly what we would call color matches for darker FleshTones, they are very complementary and will set off your House of CB outfit (of which there are several popping options), beautifully. 5 inches is not comfortable – no matter what anyone says. However, these look fantastic and if you’re up for the challenge – your $200USD (free shipping!) is money well spent. Shop them here.
3. Akira ‘Conquered Love’ Pumps
(Photo copyright Akira)
These pumps are what we like to call ‘complementary’ nude hues. Being metallic shades, they’re obviously not going to match your FleshTone – they are going to set it off! The colors currently available are pewter and rose gold. Pewter suits fair skin, and the rose gold is perfect for deeper FleshTones. With a 4 inch stiletto heel, these pumps have a reflective, glossy finish and really catch the light. The only drawback is that these shoes are synthetic. Notwithstanding this, they are reasonably comfortable and perfect for a night out or a swanky brunch, but not so perfect for daily office wear or long wear in hot climates. Prices for the Conquered Love Pumps start at $40USD. Shop them here.
4. Guoar D’Orsay Pumps
(Photo copyright Guoar)
BIG CAVEAT on these pumps. These pumps LOOK amazing (they are clearly Louboutin inspired), but the quality…well…it’s certainly not going to be the same lofty, ergonomic craftsmanship of the French master. We are in synthetic territory here for starters. Secondly, the heel is a whopping 120mm (same height as the Louboutins). At that height you would normally want cooling leather comfort and soft gel cushion built into the sole – neither of which is available with these pumps. So the end result is – sky high, synthetic pumps which are not exactly comfortable – but they look fantastic! If you want to wear these, do it with the knowledge that their beauty is skin deep and you may want to purchase a gel cushion insert to ease your pain. The ‘D’Orsay’ pumps are of course cut away to reveal your (hopefully exfoliated) arch, which adds to the glamour. The nude colors on offer include ‘C-Nude’ (PU), B-Brown (PU), B-Tan (PU) and A-Tan (Suede).
Guoar is a Chinese company, popular on Amazon. You can purchase direct from their website – though it’s rather hard to navigate, and we can’t confirm its bonafides. So it’s best to order direct through Amazon for peace of mind. Prices start at $40USD and you can shop the D’Orsay Pumps here.
If you’re not quite sold on Guoar as a synthetic option, another brand we’ve been side-eyeing lately is Salt Lake City-based, Riverberry. They make a range of synthetic stiletto pumps, and we spot 3 light, medium and dark hues across their range that would match or complement your FleshTone. These pumps just missed our top 5 (because, well, they are rather ‘sensible’ looking), but if you want something a little less dramatic and suitable for work, check them out here.
5. KAHMUNE (UK)
(Photo copyright Kahmune)
Kahmune, a UK brand, has an honorary mention here as they have not yet launched their product offering….though it’s not far off we’ve been told. The Kahmune brand was born in February 2016, founded by its CEO, Jamila Acheampong. Of African descent, she was having trouble sourcing great looking nude shoes in the right style. So she decided to make her own. Kahmune will soon be debuting two different luxury, premium styles of footwear – all available in 10 different hues! We know Kahmune is going to be something special as the shoes will be hand made in East London with exclusively sourced premium leathers from Italy.
We are also down with the Kahmune philosophy and message – that representation, diversity and inclusion all matter, and to take pride in the skin that you are in. Kahmune hopes to offer the shoes for pre-sale by late November 2016 – follow them on Instagram and bookmark their website for details about their upcoming launch. It looks to be the most comprehensive, luxury alternative to the Louboutin nudes to date!