Christian Louboutin Seeing Red??? Literally…
Those who know me also know that I loooove me some shoes. And when we talk about shoes, you know we “gots” to talk about some red-soled, on fire Louboutins…And very “a propos”, in fashion news this week, the French shoe designer Christian Louboutin, famous for the iconic red-soled shoes ranging anywhere from $1000 to $4000 (hmmm…I know, a bit over my shoe allowance for now) may be seeing red these days…And rightfully so! The shoe mogul has been engaged in a heated court fight with Yves St Laurent, its renowned French designer rival, since last April 2011.
Well, “what had happened was” the St Laurent designing house had been selling pumps with Louboutin’s alleged signature red sole, which prompted Mr. Louboutin to counter-attack and sue. Hello trouble!
Although Louboutin’s request for a preliminary injunction against YSL was denied back in August 2011 by Manhattan federal judge Victor Marrero, as reported by the Reuters press agency, a three-judge appeals court panel just reversed this decision last Wednesday. Judges Straub, Cabranes and Livingston ruled that Louboutin’s trademark would only be limited to shoes where the sole stands out from the rest of the shoe. In other words, YSL is allowed to make use of the iconic red sole only if the rest of the shoe is also monochrome red. Hmmm…
Both parties seem to consider the decision a victory, which it is in some way. In my not-so-humble opinion though, while I recognize the benefits of healthy competition, one still gotta give to Cesar what belongs to Cesar. Since opening its first boutique in Paris in 1991, the red sole has been the emblem of the Louboutin brand and should remain so! This is the life work of a man who has dedicated his time and effort to adorning women’s feet (and we all know some feet need serious adorning, bless their hearts),so yes, his legacy is his and no one else’s.
Per Reuters, the appeals court decision was based partly on the Lanham Act, governing trademark law, and also on the 1995 US Supreme court ruling in Qualitex Co. Vs. Jacobson Co. This decision allowed a single color trademark to be defended on the grounds of its exclusive association with a particular brand, which is only fair and equitable.
So all of ya Louboutin fans out there, watch out possibly for some more red soles on the market! And if you are loyal Louboutin fans, please keep up the loyalty!
As for me, well, Mr. Louboutin, if you ever read this post, I’m a hugissimo fan! Je vous adore Monsieur Louboutin!
On this red hot, on-fire note, have yourself a well-heeled Friday…and watch your step!