The days of immediately recognizing a red bottom as a Christian Louboutin shoe is nearing an end. Christian Louboutin’s plea to forbid Zara, the mega internationl retailer0 from selling what was thought to be a carbon copy of his beloved red bottoms, “Yo Yo Slingbacks,” has been told by a French court, Cour de Cassation, that Zara can continue to sell their own heel using the color.
The celeb-favorite shoe designer sued the high street chain claiming they had taken their shoe idea including style and red bottom, but the court concluded Zara’s inexpensive version wouldn’t be confused with the high-end designer’s (which was Zara’s appeal), though both are peep toe, slingbacks, and sport a red sole.
Adding insult to injury, the French court also ruled Louboutin must pay Zara almost three grand as compensation, according to WWD.com.
The blow is not a final ruling for Alexis Mourot, general manager of Christian Louboutin, who maintains the company would continue on with the battle to be the exclusive company to utilize red bottoms.
Louboutin said that he came up with the idea for his red sole heels, nearly 20 years ago, when he painted red nail polish on the black soles of a pair of women’s shoes.
“All this proves that the colors play a part in a brand’s identity. I’m not saying that red usually belongs to me – I repeat that this is about a precise red, used in a precise location, said Christian to “Liberation,” a French newspaper.”
He goes on to reiterate that he knows he can’t monopolize a color stating, “I understand that, but it is a red in a specific context, there is Ferrari red [and] Hermès orange. Even in the food industry, Cadbury recently won a lawsuit against Nestlé for using purple packaging.”
Louboutin is currently entangled in a trademark dispute with designer Yves Saint Laurent over whether he invented red-soled shoes and whether he is the only designer with the right to sell them. New mom Jessica Simpson was also entangled in a lawsuit – see her designed compared with Christian below – the case is still pending.
Louboutin claims he was given an official trademark for the red sole in 2008 – but YSL have argued that it was not valid. And the battle of red bottoms continue!