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 (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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