I often think that it is becoming a problem to know everything about a particular subject even if you’ve dedicated all your life to it. We all know that shoes with red soles are Louboutins but can Christian Louboutin be the first who has applied red color to soles? Maybe. And maybe not.
We might have never raised this question unless Yves Saint Laurent brand has used red soles for his shoes in one of the recent collections. He did, and Christian Louboutin sued the company for $1million shortly after that claiming he had an exclusive right to use red color for shoe soles. Yves Saint Laurent hit back at Louboutin saying he used the color long before the shoemaker registered his trademark. Moreover, the representative of YSL is sure the design has existed for centuries.
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.”
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.”
Christian Louboutin has also taken legal action against the French operation of Brazilian label Carmen Steffens for alleged trademark infringement. However, Carmen Steffens France explained that it had been using red soles for its shoes since 1996 which could be proved by numerous catalogues.
Carmen Steffens France added:
The tones are not the same, and, as catalogues dating from 1996 can prove, Carmen Steffens shoes contain soles of all colors, including red.”
No one knows now who will win the case but I think it’s kind of silly requiring that nobody used a certain color because it is a signature feature of your brand. Color cannot be a trademark, it’s not a design which one has created. It’s universal and can be used by everyone. I love Louboutins but Christian Louboutin has to be wiser.