NEW YORK, April 8 (Reuters Life!) - Paris-based designer
Christian Louboutin, whose pumps have graced many fabulous and
famous feet, sued fashion rival Yves Saint Laurent over the use
of the color red on shoe soles.
"Mr. Louboutin is the first designer to develop the idea of
having red soles on women's shoes," said the trademark
infringement lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court on
Since January, Louboutin said in the suit, he has asked
luxury company Yves Saint Laurent America, a subsidiary of the
Gucci Group, to stop selling red-soled shoes in the same select
Manhattan stores as he does.
"Defendants' use of red footwear outsoles that are
virtually identical to plaintiffs' Red Sole Mark is likely to
cause and is causing confusion, mistake and deception among the
relevant purchasing public," the suit said.
The suit asks for a U.S. judge to impose $1 million in
damages and order YSL to stop manufacturing similar designs.
The Gucci Group was not available for comment and the U.S.
branch of Yves Saint Laurent declined comment on the lawsuit.
Since shortly after Louboutin founded his first boutique in
1991 in Paris, the suit said, all his shoes have had
red-lacquered soles. They can fetch more than $1,000 a pair.
"The Red Sole has become synonymous with Christian
Louboutin and high fashion," it said, adding that Louboutin had
trademarked the design in the United States in 2008.
(Reporting by Basil Katz; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and