Spot the difference: Christian Louboutin's YoYo heels vs. Zara's similar slingbacks
The saga of the red-soled shoes continues. First Christian Louboutin accused Yves Saint Laurent of mimicking the scarlet signature of his famous shoes, then Jessica Simpson was under attack for copy-catting his famous designs before a lawsuit was filed against Zara for the very same thing. Now WWD reports that a French judge ruled in favour of the high street chain, giving it the green light to sell their red-soled shoes.
The case began in June 2011 when Louboutin sued Zara for selling an open-toed shoe (retailing at a purse-friendly £40, FYI) which resembled their (somewhat pricier) YoYo creation. Zara hit back by filing an appeal on the grounds that Louboutin's trademark registration was too vague and there was no proven risk of confusion between the two pairs of heels - and guess what? The court agreed. And with that, the Cour de Cassation have sentenced Louboutin to cough up approximately £2,000 as compensation. Ouch - although not too severe for the successful shoemaker.
Needless to say, the general manager of Christian Louboutin, Alexis Mourot, said the footwear company would continue to defend its sartorial signature. As the shoe maestro said himself while in conversation with Grazia's Paula Reed, he has made shoes with scarlet soles since 1992 after seeing an assistant painting her nails red. An official trademark for the red sole was awarded in 2008 with the brand arguing that customers should not be put in the potentially befuddling position of not knowing whether a shoe is a genuine Louboutin or not.
During the YSL case, however, Judge Victor Marrero argued that no one designer should place a colour off limits for other brands. Comparing the rival shoemakers to artists Picasso and Monet, he said, 'every painter and designer in producing artful works enjoys equal freedom to pick and choose colour from every streak of the rainbow.'
So what are your thoughts? Is there room in the marketplace for more than one brand of shoes with red-coloured soles? Let us know below...