Yves Saint Laurent fell into hot water recently when the branding police at Christian Louboutin felt the red outsole on a certain YSL pump (the Palais, above) was a little too similar for comfort and subsequently dropped a $1 million trademark-infringement suit. YSL fired back, saying despite what Louboutin seems to believe, they didn’t invent the red sole. Bam:
“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 says in court papers. “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.”
YSL goes on to say they’ve been doing red outsoles since the ’70s (before Louboutin got in the game) and that the original lawsuit is a predatory bit of bullying luxury boutiques to remove the YSL styles from shelves.
Setting aside the fact that the Palais outsoles usually mirror the color of the pump itself (in gray, black, pink, cobalt etc), who do you think is in the right: YSL or Christian Louboutin?