Shoe designer Louboutin defends right to red soles

Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:03pm EDT
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By Li-mei Hoang and Cindy Martin

LONDON (Reuters) - French shoe designer Christian Louboutin, famed for his glossy red-soled shoes, defended his decision to go to court with fashion label Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) and its parent company PPR to protect his trademark look on Monday.

Dressed in a smart red checked jacket, jeans and steel-toed leather shoes, Louboutin was in London to open his first UK retrospective to mark the brand's 20th anniversary at the Design Museum.

Louboutin told Reuters that the PPR Group were being extremely unfair in the court battle over red soled shoes.

"They lead out of luxury and they should know that luxury has identity signatures" he said.

A U.S. court rejected a request by Louboutin to stop the sale of YSL shoes that are red all over, including the soles.

"It's very hypocritical because they themselves...own colors. I just don't understand how you can say well, you cannot own a specific color on a specific place when you yourself own different colors.

"I'm a self-made person, I've run my own company for 20 years and this big massive group is able to hammer me, with the biggest amount of lawyers. They try to damage me, my company and it's extremely unfair especially someone that I knew, who I thought was a friend, who just happened to be a very weak person," he added.

The designer unveiled hundreds of pairs of shoes that he had created over the years, saying the journey had been "emotional" for him.   Continued...

French shoe designer Christian Louboutin poses for photographs during a media viewing of his retrospective exhibition at the Design Museum in London April 30, 2012.REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth