christian-louboutin-red-soles-court-case.jpg

Christian Louboutin has lost a legal battle against rival French footwear giant YSL, whom he accused of stealing his idea of using red soles. The King of Heels invested a cool $1 million on the fight to trademark the feature, which is used on all of his stiletto-heeled creations. YSL have used the colour in a few of their recent designs, including the 'Palais' peep-toe pumps pictured above.

While monopolising a colour may seem like a far-fetched act of diva-dom, even for a fashion great like Louboutin, the designer actually had a reasonable case: other brands have successfully trademarked colours in the past, particularly where the colour in question was used only in a particular context. For example Cadbury's have trademarked a particular shade of purple on their chocolate wrappers.

But judges agreed with YSL's lawyers, who argued that red soles are such a long-standing feature in footwear that it would be a travesty to only allow one designer to use it. They have been used in France since Louis XIV's time, and have since been made famous by other icons beside Louboutin, including Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz.

What do the team at Shoewawa think of the ruling? Read on for our view

As a Louboutin-loving site, you may be surprised to hear that we at Shoewawa are pleased that YSL won this ruling. Banning all designers from using red on their soles would stifle creative talent, and would also put an end to the use of red in contexts where it bears little resemblance to Louboutin's designs.

Take the Palais pumps pictured above as an example. These shoes are clearly meant to be red all over. Why should the sole be a different colour just because of another designer's felicitous decision to put red nail polish on the underside of his shoes at an early stage of his career?

We don't condone outright copying of designer shoes, and anyone who tries to pass off items as genuine Louboutins by painting the soles red is doing us all a disservice. But using red soles on your own original designs should not be outlawed.

Do you agree?