The Scarlet Footwear

June 21, 2012 5:00 pm

We’re all familiar with the bright red lacquered sole of Christian Louboutin shoes, be it on a runway, the red carpet or an episode of “Gossip Girl”. We’ve all seen it and we all adore it.

How couldn’t we?

Although they’re everywhere they still manage to hold on to their exclusiveness. Celebrities are obsessed with the famous brand (JLO even released a song about the power of those red soles). Louboutins scream fashion and sex appeal, and you either own a pair or dream of owning one.

And we wonder, why all the fuss? What is it that makes these shoes stand out among all of the other ridiculously priced designer footwear on the market?

We’re captivated by those shiny red outsoles. You can see them from miles away and you know they’re Louboutin. And that is just how Christian Louboutin wants it.

Other designers noticed the trend and thought to themselves, Why don’t we do some hot red soled shoes?

And so they did. But Mr Louboutin was having none of it. He proceeded to do what the rich and famous do when things aren’t going their way: throw a lawsuit at them.

Louboutin fought tooth and nail with fashion juggernaut Yves Saint Laurent, accusing them of copying his trademarked red-soled shoes. The offending models included four shoe designs from YSL’s Cruise 2011 collection: the Tribute, Tribtoo, Palais, and Woodstock, all of which have red soles. YSL responded with a counterclaim seeking cancellation of Louboutin’s trademark.

I can see where Louboutin is coming from. His glossy red soles will make him around $135 million this year, selling from around $600 a pair. Those rouge soles equal dollar signs.

On the other hand who can claim a colour? It sounds ridiculous if you think about it. It’s equivalent to  Beyonce suing someone for copying her hairstyle.

If you put it out there, other designers should be able to incorporate it into their designs.

It’s a difficult fight because many companies are known by a trademark colour (Tiffany Blue for example), but I suppose it all depends on whether or not there is a legal battle.

The red sole is always going to be associated with Louboutin, but according to the judge, that doesn’t mean he owns it.

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