Louboutin Back In Court


CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN is heading back to court in the hope of protecting his famous red soles once and for all. The designer – who battled Yves Saint Laurent in court in New York over the issue in 2012 and currently holds a valid US trademark as a result – is now taking his concerns to the Court of Justice of the European Union, The Fashion Law reports, in order to ensure that European brands also adhere to the guidelines.

The Yves Saint Laurent litigation – which began when the French house launched a collection of shoes in a range of colours which each had a sole that matched its upper – ended with the assertion that Louboutin could not prevent brands from creating red shoes with red soles, but that no other brand should create a shoe of a contrasting colour with a red sole as that was likely to cause confusion for customers who would assume the shoe was by Louboutin.

Christian Louboutin in conversation with Alexandra Shulman at this year’s Vogue Festival
Picture credit: Darren Gerrish

In a case brought by Louboutin in 2013, the Brussels Court of Appeal found that the company has created a distinctive and recognisable marker of its product in the red sole, and Dutch company Van Haren was forced to cease production of its red-soled shoes as a result.

Louboutin has previously spoken about the moment that he invented the red sole – grabbing a nail polish that his assistant was using in order to make a shoe he was working on “pop” – and was happy to reminisce about those early days at the recent Vogue Festival.

“I remember the first time that I met you,” he told Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman. “It was 1992 and you came into my shop with two girls. You gave me your credit card, and I bent it! It was one of those slidey machines and I watched as it bent.”


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