Christian Louboutin Thinks Female Shoppers Are Stupid


louboutinsMy once-ravenous appetite for overpriced designer shoes and handbags has mostly dissipated in the past couple of years. Unless I can get said designer item at an outlet or Nordstrom Rack, I probably won't be spending my hard-earned dough on it. But one item I've coveted lately is the patent black Christian Louboutin pump. It's classic, versatile, and distinctive.

Louboutins, like Manolos, were elevated to iconic shoe crush status by Sarah Jessica Parker on Sex & the City and later, loads of celebs. I've always assumed that the reason behind the desirability of the shoes was that they're actually extremely well-made and -- perhaps? -- somewhat comfortable. Silly me! Apparently, women only want them for their "trademarked red sole." Or so the footwear designer seems to be insinuating with a lawsuit filed against rival luxury fashion house Yves Saint Laurent last week.

In the complaint, Louboutin’s lawyers claim that Yves Saint Laurent’s red Palais Pump” and “Palais Slingback,” with matching red soles, are “virtually identical” to his trademark. Louboutin wants an injunction against YSL (a subsidiary of Gucci) and damages that total $1 million! In the lawsuit, Louboutin whines that YSL lookalike shoes in Manhattan stores like Saks, Barney's, and Bergdorf Goodman were:

... likely to cause and is causing confusing, mistake, and deception among the relevant purchasing public.

Oh, give me a break! You mean to tell me that women who walk into those fancypants department stores are being deceived by YSL? Yes, I'm so sure, some real-life Serena van der Woodsen was hell-bent on buying those Fall '11 Louboutin mules, but whoops! She grabbed a pair of $1,125 python YSLs instead. The fact that they too have red soles made it just so confusing! Louboutin must really think his customers are morons...

Although the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office actually awarded Louboutin a registered trademark for his red soles -- which he first came up with when he painted soles of his shoes with red nail polish -- in 2008 (smooth move, USPTO), that doesn't make this suit any less ridiculous.

And get this -- YSL isn't their only target anymore! They're also going after Sao Paulo-based Carmen Steffens of Brazil for shoes with "rosette" soles. So now I guess their trademark applies to all shades of red.

Louboutin may be calling "unfair competition" with YSL and Carmen Steffens, but they just seem threatened ... and pathetic! If women want to spend the insane dinero it takes to own a pair of genuine Louboutins, we will. It shouldn't have anything to do with a stupid red sole. You can get a pair of shoes with a red sole at Target! Well ... maybe not, at least if Louboutin has anything to say about it. Pretty soon he's going to be suing strawberry farmers and the Red Cross for stealing his color!

I swear to Vogue -- Louboutin's gone overboard in the wacky department! His insistence on copyrighting a color is so crazy, it's actually kind of a turnoff. In light of this lawsuit, I may just save my $600 and buy my next pair of pumps from Payless!

Do you think Louboutin's lawsuit is insane?


Image via valeyoshino/Flickr

shoes, trends, designers, celeb style


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Simpl... Simplicity3

I don't know but I love those heels.

roach... roachiesmom

I've thought this almost my entire life about most females and what most of them want to buy, but yeah, the lawsuit is also stupid. 

psulo... psulovah1855

It's not about thinking people are stupid.  It's the fact that people associate the red sole with Louboutin.  I don't know about you, but any time I see a red sole I immediately think Louboutin.  Trademarks are meant to protect both consumers and trademark owners from confusion in the marketplace.  It's about protecting the quality of products.  If you associate good quality with a brand, its not fair for another brand to capitalize on that good will.  Louboutin is NOT trying to copyright a color, trademarks and copyrights are two entirely different things that serve different purposes.  


I happen to be quite a big intellectual property nerd :)

nonmember avatar Tangerine

How on earth were they allowed to trademark the use of a color, especially when it's part of the actual product and not a means of identifying it? Trademark is designed to identify a specific product not to give one company a monopoly on the use of a color. Especially the generic use of a color. What's next? A company that trademarks the use of red lining in coats? Mustang and Corvette should race to trademark the red sports car now before common sense sets in. If this were acceptable Levi's would have trademarked blue jeans which they invented! Many shoemakers have made shoes with red soles before. Trademark is a name or logo or mark used to identify a product from others in the marketplace, and is supposed to be granted to protect the consumer who wants to differentiate between similar items, not to grant corporations monopolies on the use of color in fashion. If this trademark stands more companies will start trademarking color use in fashion in other ways. Ridiculous! Fashion is a form of expression and is one of the many ways I exert my freedom of speech, so no matter what they say, you can't take red away from me!

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Christian Louboutin is so far my favorite. Even its main pumps are fabulous, just enter the red sole. His elegant creations, such as cell liners are fabulous beyond words.

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