Christian Louboutin, the in 1963 born famous Paris-based shoe designer is again suing a rival footwear company. Louboutin said that he asked the American branch of the well-known Yves Saint Laurent Corporation for months to stop bringing shoes with red soles on the market. Now Louboutin is again taking legal action; this time against the Brazilian Carmen Steffens in France but for the same reason.
Christian Louboutin claims that both fashion houses copied his trademark red sole. Apparently one day he painted the sole of a shoe red with nail polish and that was the start of it all. His idea was registered as a trademark in 2008 in the US.
However, while Yves Saint Laurent refused to comment on Louboutin’s claim, Carmen Steffens France did react. The company said that they already brought designer shoes with red soles on the market since 1996; long before Louboutin’s registration. Besides that, Carmen Steffens women shoes are available in many colors and not only in red.
But Louboutin sticks to his guns and asks the judge to impose $1 million in damages and demands that Yves Saint Laurent immediately stops the manufacturing of red soled shoes.
After starting as a freelance shoe designer for big names like Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent (!), Christian Louboutin launched his own line in 1989; he opened the first store under his own name in Paris in 1991 and in New York in 1993. His first handbag line was launched in 2003. Today the designer gained world wide fame and indeed his stiletto heeled shoes are instantly recognizable for the lipstick red soles.
Princess Caroline of Monaco was one of his first celebrity customers and the media present at that occasion helped boost Louboutin’s designs enormously. With a customer base that contains names like Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Catherine Deneuve, Diane Von Furstenburg and Sarah Jessica Parker, the designer indeed has an emporium to fight for and we are all waiting anxiously for the verdict. Shall he be vindicated?