Yves Saint Laurent Issues Rebuttal in Louboutin’s Battle for the Red Sole


CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 15: Designer Christian Louboutin attends "The Artist" premiere at the Palais des Festivals during the 64th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 15, 2011 in Cannes, France. (Pascal Le Segretain/GETTY IMAGES)

It’s the trademark war that has captivated both the legal and fashion worlds. In April, Paris-based footwear designer Christian Louboutin filed suit in New York against rival luxury fashion house Yves Saint Laurent over the use of Louboutin’s trademarked red soles. Louboutin trademarked the red sole in 2008 and is seeking $1 million in damages.

Finally, YSL has responded, topping Louboutin’s flowery complaint, which included lyrics by Jennifer Lopez and “Sex and the City” references, by invoking none other than King Louis XIV.

And Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz.”

“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,” the rebuttal stated.

The UK’s Daily Mail reports that YSL’s rebuttal calls Louboutin “fraudulent” in his trademark application for claiming that he had “exclusive use of the red sole.”

The complaint said, “As an industry leader who has devoted his entire professional life to women’s footwear, Mr. Louboutin either knew or should have known about some or all of the dozens of footwear models that rendered his sworn statement false.”

No word on when a Twitter war will commence.

Katherine Boyle reports on arts, museums and culture for the Style section.

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