Louboutin Sees Red

Mimi ON May 24, 2011 AT 4:43 pm

Designer Christian Louboutin with a pair of his “trademarked” red soles

Designer Christian Louboutin with a pair of his “trademarked” red soles

Christian Louboutin is suing YSL for $1million over allegations that YSL stole their heels’ “signature” red soles.

Several new YSL shoes boast a red sole similar to those of Louboutin’s – but YSL claims they’ve been using that motif since the seventies, and they weren’t the first: the red sole dates back centuries. YSL documents read, “Red outsoles are a commonly used ornamental design feature in footwear, dating as far back as the red shoes worn by King Louis XIV in the 1600s and the ruby red shoes that carried Dorothy home in The Wizard of Oz.”

YSL's red soled shoes

YSL's red soled shoes

These kinds of facts call to question Louboutin’s trademark claim that he had “exclusive” use of the red sole. “As an industry leader who has devoted his entire professional life to women’s footwear, Mr. Louboutin either knew or should have known about some or all of the dozens of footwear models that rendered his sworn statement false.”

The controversy heated up last month when Louboutin launched legal action against YSL America to keep them from selling their red-soled shoes in the same stores that stocked Louboutin shoes. His lawsuit claims, “Yves Saint Laurent’s sale of lookalike shoes in Manhattan stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman was ‘likely to cause and is causing confusion, mistake and deception among the relevant purchasing public.’”

Think this lawsuit will go anywhere? It’s doubtful… at least on Louboutin’s side. But we know one thing is for sure: we love those hot red soles more than ever. Well, until we see them on Coleen Rooney.

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