christian louboutin won an important legal battle protecting the distinctive red soles characteristic of his legendary shoe brand. the court of justice of the european union ruled in favor of the french designer, saying that the sole’s color was separate from their form — an attribute ordinarily not protected by EU trademark law. louboutin took the case to court following dutch brand vanharen’s marketing of its own red-soled high heels. ‘color alone doesn’t mean very much to me,’ louboutin told designboom in an exclusive interview. ‘it’s always a question of how color is applied.’

christian louboutin wins ecj
christian louboutin photographed by mathieu cesar, all images courtesy of christian louboutin



‘the protection of christian louboutin’s red sole trademark is strengthened by the european court of justice,’ louboutin said in a statement following the ruling.the red color applied on the sole of a woman’s high heel shoe is a position mark, as maison christian louboutin has maintained for many years.’

christian louboutin wins ecj
the new ‘loubi in progress’ collection | image © christian louboutin



louboutin first discovered his passion for designing footwear after a trip to the museum of african art as a child, where he saw a sign showing a woman’s sharp-heeled shoe, crossed out with a vivid red line. the message was simple – it was an indication that high-heeled shoes were not permitted there. the fine delicacy of the heel did not leave him. after founding the company in 1992, his heeled designs and exquisite boutiques have since become became some of the most famous around the world. 


designboom met with christian louboutin at the 2014 financial times business of luxury summit in mexico city, where he told us about his influences, design process and superstitious beliefs. read the full interview here

christian louboutin wins ecj
bow bow | image © christian louboutin

christian louboutin wins ecj
neuron drawing | image © christian louboutin

christian louboutin wins ecj
pluminette drawing | image © christian louboutin

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