• Thu, Jul 14 2011

YSL VS Christian Louboutin: The Saga Continues As One Luxury Label Tries To Sue Another

Just to bring you up to speed: Christian Louboutin got pissed at Yves Saint Laurent after the French luxury house released a red-soled heel as part of its 2011 Cruise collection. Louboutin believes itself to be the only entity that can produce red-soled shoes. YSL then told Louboutin to suck it. Excitingly, attorneys for both brands are saying more things to the press:

First off, YSL’s attorney told WWD on Wednesday:

“Louboutin’s trademark should have never been granted,. We just don’t think that any fashion designer should be able to monopolize any color.” Further YSL believes that Louboutin wins this one, it hurts everybody: “The defendant would ‘be prevented from giving life to its own venerated style traditions.’ ”

YSL also claims that since the shoe is red all over (much like equivalent styles are blue all over, green all over, etc) Louboutin’s move is akin to claiming they own the color red. Louboutin’s attorney… disagreed.

“We are not claiming to own every red under the sun. There’s a particular red that Christian uses on his shoes, a bright, lacquered red,” he said. “We aren’t saying burgundy or orange-red, we aren’t saying pink. We don’t own any other red but that red.”

I don’t understand trademark/law/life stuff but I can use Wikipedia, which defines a trademark as “a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or services from those of other entities.” …Yes, the red sole is synonymous with Louboutin. However if I saw these YSL platforms on the street, I wouldn’t assume they were Loubs, for two reasons: 1) they’re all red so a red sole seems like a natural embellishment and 2) most of the red-soled shoes I see on the street I assume to be knockoffs, anyway.

So, it seems like Louboutin’s big worry is that luxury customers will buy YSL pumps mistaking them for Louboutin pumps. Though I must be wrong in thinking this is the problem because I can’t conceive of a situation in which someone would drop $900 on a pair of heels without glancing at the label.

From Our Partners

Share This Post: