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Shoe fans see red as Louboutin designs for men

Now the boys can flash their red soles with the same panache as their shoe-mad girlfriends.

Christian Louboutin, the uncrowned French king of luxury designer heels, brought a prototype from his new men's range to Dublin yesterday.

And his studded, leopard-print trainer went down a treat with the women who also feasted their eyes on a preview of his autumn-winter 2011 collection.

Louboutin's men's shoes, starting at €380, will debut in Paris in early July and will be available at Brown Thomas in the autumn.

The Parisian's trademark scarlet-hued soles debuted in 1992, after he had earlier applied red nail varnish to some shoes. The lacquered finish proved a commercial hit and has become recognised the world over.

Meanwhile, Tara Haughton (16) from Kildare knows all about the appeal of red soles.The transition year student from Cross and Passion College, Kilcullen, has sold 37,500 pairs of coloured, stick-on soles since she launched her Rosso Solini sole business last November.

While red, like Louboutin, was her first choice of colour, Tara has since expanded to 22 different options.

Tara's stick-on half-soles are applied under the in-step of the sole and are now exported to Australia, Germany, Israel, Canada and the UK.

Tara's father Chris said: "We are not breaking any copyright rules. What Tara is doing is completely different. Hers is a fashion accessory and it does not go the full length of the shoes. The Louboutin product is made from leather while her's is made from a 3M plastic product. The finish and colour are different."

Irish Independent