April 8th, 2011
Christian Louboutin, Fashion News
Christian Louboutin Sues Yves Saint Laurent Over Red Soles
By Claire

We have a clash of two shoe titans ladies and gentlemen!
Christian Louboutin recently filed suit against Yves Saint Laurent over their use of red soled heels.

Apparently YSL has lacquered a few of their Spring 2011 designs with ‘red bottoms,’ a look that is universally known as Louboutin’s signature.

A pair of YSL shoes from their Spring 2011 Collection


According to Reuters the lawsuit states, “Mr. Louboutin is the first designer to develop the idea of having red soles on women’s shoes.” Louboutin is seeking $1 million in damages.

Christian Loboutin, left, with Pharrell


Source: Elle Uk

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30 comments

30 Responses to “Christian Louboutin Sues Yves Saint Laurent Over Red Soles”

  1. Pajama_Rich says:

    Wow. Why would anyone even try to come close to that?? They should have did some other color or something. They’ll probably settle outta court.

  2. Nunyabizniz says:

    A lot of smaller brands have tried to do the “red sole” thing in the past, and they were always quickly shut down, noone would even hear about it. I am curious to see how this will turn out given that now he is suing another Industry’s giant! *sit back and sip tea*

  3. addikted2fashion says:

    the nerve of YSL! all of the colors in the rainbow and they decide to use red? smh

    p.s. there’s a boutique in Louisiana that has red soles on their shoes that are CLEARLY CL knock-offs. I think they should be next on the “getting sued” list!

  4. mzri says:

    I’m pretty sure YSL isn’t trying to knock of CL. Many of their shoes feature a sole that is the same color as the actual shoe. I didn’t see a pic, but might it be a red shoe?

  5. Myranda says:

    I refuse to buy any shoe that had a red bottom and is not a C.L.

  6. Chanel says:

    Charles Jourdan has had red bottoms for years. I clearly remember my mother’s Jourdans with red bottoms in the 80s…I know for a fact that there have been vintage Jourdans from the 70s that also have red soles. I think the smaller brands have been shut down because they not only added a red sole, but also copied a design. In regards to YSL, I think Louboutin might want to try again!

  7. T1K says:

    Uh oh! I’m just curious 1mil in damages, I wonder what those damages are, I really don’t think he has lost any sales due to this.. Oh well that just goes to show you, be original people!

  8. cheeky says:

    I don’t think its about the money at all. I mean, honestly, $1 million sounds like chump change to both Louboutin and YSL. It’s about the principle. Universally, everyone knows that red soles are a characteristic of Louboutin shoes. Period. When we see a celebrity in a shoe with a red sole, we automatically know, its a CL shoe. How confusing would it be for the blogs to have to say, “oh that’s not CL, its YSL.” Useless confusion.

    And true, @addikted2fashion, there are plenty of smaller knock off CL companies out there, but it’s not worth the money or time to go after them. You set an example with the big fish- not going after companies who can barely afford the attorney’s fees to fight such a case.

  9. cheeky says:

    I’m sure this lawsuit isn’t about the money at all since $1 million seems like chump change for both CL and YSL. It’s about the principle. The red sole is a characteristic that is known universally to be CL. How confusing would it be to have another designer with the same trait? Can you just imagine the useless confusion that would result on teh fashion blogs? “Oh that’s not CL, its YSL.” like huh?

    It’s all about brand awareness and brand recognition. People know CL by their red soles. People know YSL by their platforms and sky high heels (among other traits). To create and maintain such awareness and recognition through all these decades is hard work and no one should have that taken away from them.

    And true, there are plenty other companies that have knock off CL shoes but it’s not worth the time or money to pursue them. You set an example with the big fish, not with the little companies that can’t even begin to afford the attorney’s fees to fight such a lawsuit. IMO

  10. noel says:

    their sole color used to be blue why would they go after red bottoms…i like colored bottoms (side note lol)

  11. sun.kissed says:

    YSL is dead wrong for that–#losing. Why would they even try something so obviously wrong. I rember back in the day Christian Louboutin sued Naughty Monkey for the same thing. Like someone said, another color would have sufficed and probably made women lust for them even more. WTH?

  12. Alexis says:

    Yea that is super lame on YSL’s party… They need to think of something else like a key hanging from each shoe like the lock on the louie bags… Jus be creative that’s what we pay for!!

  13. LawyerChick says:

    I LIVE for lawsuits like this! I’d love to be counsel on either side of this lawsuit. Hopefully one day I will!

  14. I don;t think ysl should have used a red sole they know that is a trademark for CL

  15. Brittany says:

    I don’t think CL should be able to trademark the color red on a shoe sole. Yes his brand is known for this, but its still a color. You can’t trademark a color.

  16. Lex says:

    If he’s going to sue them then he needs to sue every other designer with “red bottom” shoes. With so many celebrities wearing these pricey shoes, they’ve become popular but Im sure he’s not the first designer to put red bottoms on shoes. He just more than likely made it popular.

  17. ...um...NO says:

    The shoe collection, “The Perfect Platform,” features shoes that have matching sole colors… there is no merit behind the lawsuit, it’s not like YSL made an entire collection of shoes with CL’s signature red bottom smh

  18. Coco says:

    Hmmmm I agree alot of their colored shoes have soles that are the same color as the upper. They have purple shoes with purple bottoms, blue shoes with blue bottoms etc…i dunno I’m not feelin Louboutin with this lawsuit. Im sure no one familiar with Louboutin confused the two shoes…im likin this man less and less. Him and his painful shoes

  19. binks says:

    I agree with Brittany I mean really how do you trademark a color? I know plenty of brands that had red soles wayyyyy before CL became popular so…blanks stares….I understand the red bottoms is his trademark but comparing YSL’s shoes here and CL’s shoes they don’t even look alike style wise

  20. binks says:

    oops meant his calling card

  21. esme says:

    well louboutin trademarked the red shoe bottoms over 10 years ago. i think ysl knew they were pushing the envelope when they did this. i think louboutin is probably going to win.

  22. B00m says:

    YSL is an industry giant, CL picked the wrong one to mess with. I’m 100% sure CL will lose. If louboutin is able trademark his signature red sole, it’ll have to be a VERY specific shade of red, not just any variation of the color. I’m sure YSL’s team thought about this whole thing before the shoes were mass produced

  23. Coldplayer says:

    I know I seen a few of shoes by Paris Hilton line that featured red bottoms as well. I seen a pair not too long ago in Marshalls.

  24. fashionista says:

    so sad that a parisian designer has decided to sue one of the greatest fashion houses. YSL did red sole bottoms back in the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s. Even though CL has it as a “signature” the colors of red are not even comparable.

    everyone do your research before you take sides.

    If it wasn’t for the name of YSL this wouldn’t have even made the news. CL is just trying to grab as much press as possible.

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  26. B says:

    Louboutin use to work for Charles Jourdan…so the red bottom from the 70′s & 80′s is in fact “borrowed”

  27. I had trouble finding the info thanks!

  28. Saw them w/my own eyes says:

    Charles Jourdan had red sole shoes back in the 70′s and 80′s. My aunt had a closet full of red sole, 4 inch heel CJ’s. I really don’t think that CL has the right to sue anyone unless he bought the rights from Charles Jourdan.

  29. JG says:

    On March 28, 1995, in Qualitex Co. v. Jacobson Products Co., the United States Supreme Court held unanimously that, “sometimes, a color will meet ordinary legal trademark requirements. And, when it does so, no special legal rule prevents color alone from serving as a trademark.”

  30. AT says:

    If he wants a lock on that particular shade then he’s going to have to patent it like Tiffany’s patented the color of their box. Maybe try the professional route instead of the Donald Trump route.

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