Thursday, August 11, 2011
Battle of the Red Soles
My beloved Louboutin lost his battle to fashion powerhouse Yves Saint Laurent yesterday for the exclusive right to all things scarlet (at least when it comes to the outer soles of shoes).
In federal court, US District Judge Victor Marrero ruled that Louboutin -- even if widely recognized for its trailblazing use of red under the shoe -- could not stop competitors like YSL from doing the same thing.
"...in the fashion industry color serves ornamental and aesthetic functions vital to robust competition, the court finds that Louboutin is unlikely to be able to prove that its red outsole brand is entitled to trademark protection...Awarding one participant in the designer shoe market a monopoly on the color red would impermissibly hinder competition among other participants. YSL has various reasons for seeking to use red on its outsoles," said Marrero. (who revealed himself as an ardent admirer of the sexy slip-ons!!)
YSL is scornful of Louboutin's claim to a break through in fashion design, saying it has featured red soles all the way back to the 1970s... with Louboutin only emerging on the fashion scene in 1991 and obtainng a US patent for the red soles in 2007.
The idea for red soles was "copied from King Louis XIV's red-heeled dancing shoes or Dorothy's famous ruby slippers in 'The Wizard of Oz,'" Judge Marrero quoted YSL as saying. OUCH!
Regardless of anything "legal," I believe everyone is aware what Louboutin stands for, and will continue to remain known for.
...that being said if you have seen Palais, you know who it belongs to as well!!