Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Red is the color of soles

In what will probably become a long, drawn out court battle, today a judge ruled to deny a preliminary injunction on behalf of Christian Louboutin that would prevent Yves Saint Laurent from selling the red-soled shoes from its 2011 resort collection. (Read it here).

The YSL shoes in question. 
Bummer. 

The court did not feel that color is entitled to trademark protection in the fashion industry.

As much as people will bitch and complain about this, I am somewhat inclined to agree. How can someone in the fashion industry name one color that’s just for them? Betsey Johnson is synonymous with pink in my mind, just as Louboutin is red, but she doesn't own it. 

And once a designer names that color, is it a specific PMS color? What about the RGB codes? How do you keep the color the same on different materials? Is it all reds, or just one shade, and if it is just one shade, is it one that Christian Louboutin (or his company) mixed himself?

Still, Louboutin is known for the red soles, so it will act as a trademark no matter who makes red soled shoes. They can (and may) start popping up on all kinds of shoes, but there's something distinct about the Louboutin red sole, and the shoes themselves, that they're almost instantly recognizable.

And to that end it almost doesn't make sense for another company to even want to make a shoe with a red sole. Other shoe designers then run the risk of being mistaken for Louboutin and not recognized for their own designs, and lesser brands will be instantly recognized as copycats because expensive shoes are pretty damn easy to spot.

At the end of the day, no matter what the court decides, or what color your soles are, there's still nothing like a Louboutin. 

1 comment:

Cat said...

As a quick follow up, Christian Louboutin is appealing the judge's decision. Here's another story about it. http://nymag.com/daily/fashion/2011/08/christian_louboutin_appeal-ysl.html?mid=376208&rid=422520666