Thursday, 4 August 2011

Louboutin V. Yves Saint Laurent

There is currently a legal battle going on between Christian Louboutin and Yves Saint Laurent.  Louboutin is seeking an injunction against YSL regarding the use of red soles for it Resort 2011 collection.  Everyone knows the Louboutin red sole; the idea hatched from an employee's red nail polish and has become an iconic part of luxury shoe history.  The shade specific to Louboutin was apparently trademarked in 2008.  Examples of both YSL and Louboutin's red soles below:

YSL's red-soled red Tribute t-strap sandal.

Louboutin's Lady Derby in black with trademark red sole.

YSL's red-soled Tribute pump in red.

Loubotin's Poseidon in purple with trademark red sole.

I don't think anyone should have exclusive rights to using red on the soles of their shoes.  Especially because, correct me if I'm wrong, the only examples of YSL using red soles were for red shoes.  If I were making shoes, I personally wouldn't choose to use red soles because it's already been done.  But if it's only being used by another designer on red shoes for a streamlined look, then I think it's petty to engage in a million-dollar lawsuit over it.  But maybe I would feel differently if it were my trademark.

- Shannon

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