Would a red-soled stiletto by any other name than Christian Louboutin look as sweet?
Certainly not for the luxury French shoe designer, who passionately defended his court battle to protect his famous glossy red-soled shoes Monday.
Louboutin was in London to open a museum exhibition marking his brand’s 20th anniversary, talking to reporters about his inspirations and his rise to global success. But he also hit out at fellow French fashion house Yves Saint Laurent and its parent company PPR, whom he is suing for trademark infringement in a U.S. federal appeals court. A panel of judges has yet to issue a decision.
“What PPR does via Yves Saint Laurent is breaking my trademark, which I find incredibly offensive,” Louboutin told The Associated Press.
Louboutin’s lawyers have compared his shoe trademark to a similar one held by Tiffany & Co. for blue boxes – sparking a wider debate on whether a designer can own a color.
The 49-year-old designer, dressed in a red tweed jacket, jeans and steel-toed leather shoes he designed himself, argued that his rivals are wrong to accuse him of trying to monopolize the color red.
“I do not own a color. I own a specific color in a specific place,” he said of his distinctive soles.
A lower U.S. court had rejected a request by Louboutin to stop the sale of YSL shoes that are red all over, including the soles.
Louboutin shoes are one of the world’s most recognizable fashion items, and have been worn by celebrities from Angelina Jolie to French first lady Carla Bruni. The most popular style is 5 inches high, and his exhibition includes many theatrical boots and shoes with even higher heels.
“Shoes are objects of pleasure,” Louboutin said – though his high heels are famously uncomfortable to wear.
Low heels can sometimes be attractive, he said, but comfort is clearly not one of his priorities.
“I am not against comfort, but I don’t like the idea that my shoes are evocative of comfort,” he said.
But he wouldn’t go so far as to endorse foot surgery – nicknamed “Loub-jobs” after his shoes – that aims to ease the pain of wearing high heels.
“Frankly, it’s probably not a good idea,” he said.
The retrospective exhibition at London’s Design Museum traces Louboutin’s rise from a teenager fascinated by the feathered costumes of Paris’s cabaret showgirls to his stints at YSL and Chanel to setting up his first boutique in 1991. It also gives a glimpse into his creative process from sketch to execution, as well as including creations designed for a 2008 exhibition with director David Lynch which examines shoes as fetish objects.
Louboutin considers Kate Moss to be his English style icon, but said Queen Elizabeth II would be an interesting and challenging customer.
“She’s a woman, she’s a queen, she’s a full concept,” he said. “She is such a symbol.”
The retrospective show runs from Tuesday to July 9.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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