Yves Saint Laurent vs. Christian Louboutin: The Footwear Feud Continues

yves saint laurent shoe christian louboutin
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The war of the red soles wages on between Christian Louboutin and YSL (shown above).

When it comes to red-soled shoes, Christian Louboutin may have cornered the market—and though he’d like for it to stay that way, Yves Saint Laurent has some other thoughts on the matter.

Louboutin initially filed a trademark infringement suit against YSL for using red on the soles of a particular style of shoe. (Louboutin trademarked the design in the U.S. in 2008.)

Yves Saint Laurent wasted no time fighting back, saying through a lawyer that "Red outsoles are a commonly used ornamental design feature in footwear, dating as far back as the red shoes worn by King Louis XIV in the 1600s and the ruby red shoes that carried Dorothy home in The Wizard of Oz."

Now, Louboutin has asked the courts for a preliminary injunction in the suit—though YSL alleges that the footwear brand won’t be able to show “irreparable harm or consumer confusion,” according to Women’s Wear Daily.

“Louboutin’s trademark should have never been granted,” Yves Saint Laurent’s attorney David Bernstein told WWD. “We just don’t think that any fashion designer should be able to monopolize any color.”

“We are not claiming to own every red under the sun,” responded Harley Lewin, a lawyer for Louboutin, adding that the particular shade of red-soled shoe is a sure, recognizable sign of a Louboutin…”unless you are living in a cave.” Ouch.

The answer in the suit may come as early as July 22, so watch this space.

In related news, check out one Ireland teen's attempt at creating her own red soles.