What's the Difference: Christian Louboutin's Pigalle, Pigalle Follies and So Kate Pumps - PurseBlog why are christian louboutin soles red

What’s the Difference: Christian Louboutin’s Pigalle, Pigalle Follies and So Kate Pumps

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  • Sparky

    Sorry, but I don’t find crushed toes in shoes sexy (So Kate).
    Shoes don’t make you sexy. Its how you carry yourself.

    • Aurore de La Gorce

      Indeed, many women wear high heels and do not know how to walk in them. They end up walking like hens and it’s both pathetic and ridiculous. I believe you can look fantastic in any kind of shoes, if it’s good quality and you’re paying attention to yourself.

      • Sparky

        Exactly. Buy what suits you and in the case of shoes, buy something you can walk in.
        That said, I think the the foot becomes so contorted in the 120 So Kates that they say ‘fashion victim’ even if one can glide effortlessly in them.

      • girlscoutnocookie

        I suppose it’s easier to buy magical designer shoes than to learn how to carry yourself.

      • Maya

        Agreed, nothing is less appealing than someone who cannot walk in heels (on the other hand, someone who knows how to walk in heels is usually stunning!) or who has clothes who don’t fit for that matter, it’s how you carry yourself at the end of the day…on heels or flats:)

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  • Gigi

    Ouch! I feel much sexier in shoes with a platform or a chunky heel as I am able to walk normally and carry myself comfortably and confidently for hours on end.

  • guest

    Awesome, this was a very cool feature.

  • Tang

    The heels look really painful. The desire to own them is nada.

  • Pattye

    Oh i would love them! But being (a young) 70 yrs. old, i would like a smaller heel. So Kate 120mm beautiful!

  • Yazi

    They are all likely to break the wearer’s ankle?

  • Passerine

    The feet in photo 4 look freakish, not sexy. If I had to wear any of them (and thankfully I don’t) it would be the Pigalle Follies in 55 mm. It’s a heel height you can walk in. Followed by the Pigalle pump in 85, but only on rare occasions. A heel higher than that worn for more than a few minutes is both uncomfortable and unhealthy.

  • Lolacola

    This feature came at the perfect time, I’m buying my first pair of louboutins and couldn’t decide between the pigalle or pigalle follies, I also considered the décolleté but they do not look as alluring.

    • Katherine Callaghan

      That’s so exciting! Hope this guide can help!

    • LatinaVaquerita

      I have two pairs of the Decollete, one in smooth black leather in 85mm, easy to walk in, and the 100 mm leopard patent, and they are super sexy because the heel is so slim. They make the ankle and foot look so beautiful. I like the more modern shape, more rocker sexy. Try them on :-) So pretty.

  • FashionableLena

    The toe box on Louboutin pumps is too small. Also, if I’m not mistaken, the creator stated that he makes these shoes to look pretty/sexy not for comfort.
    Louboutin no doubt makes beautiful shoes, but life is too short to walk around in pain. When your feet hurt, that’s all you can think about is how much your feet hurt.

  • Maya

    The So Kate are IT!!….Torture IT that is!…but they look soooo good!!!

  • HelloHappylife

    There is no denying that the shoes are beautiful to look at,but to me that’s where it ends. I feel like the style isn’t worth the long term damage that it will cause to your feet. The human foot isn’t meant to stand at a high angle & defiantly not suppose to bare all of the body weight that wearing heels causes. Even if I am young,only 23 I just can’t bring my self to wear them based on those facts.

  • Sara B

    A looot of boring “moms” in the commentary section I see :-) The shoes are pieces of art! There are two types of women. The ones that would prefer to walk around in pyjamas and unwashed hair, and the ones that take pride in their Beauty, in making an effort and feeling more empowered as a result. Beauty is Power! Learn to use it to your advantage, Ladies. Put a pair of Louboutins on for a night out, and notice de difference :-)

    • Kelly

      Boring, huh? LOL…You can’t truly believe that! CL’s are the number one shoe sold on consignment because they HURT! They are truly pieces of art, but they hurt like hell!

      • Tammie Reed

        Agreed! I had the So Kates walked out my door and my feet started to hurt so bad! I didnt even make it to my car! Sold them in a week, didnt care if I took a huge loss either! They hurt like hell!

    • lovebeigeandblack nzgiblms. louboutins saor

      Don’t be a fool. Beauty is not power if you have to endure pain and possibly long-term damage for it. Real power is when you are considered attractive without having to physically torture yourself. Men do not subject themselves to this nonsense.

  • Loubspassion

    I own all 03 styles described here and have absolutely no problem walking in them from 100 to 120 mm. These shoes are truly a work of art and the shape makes them look really sexy. For me, they are by far the best. I think one must try a pair on and see the difference before committing not to buy. Plus they are painful when new as every shoe, then become wearble after a while. Ladies, please tey them on in all heel heights you can manage and you will see :)

  • Dwightinha

    I walk pridely in pain in my Pigalles and Simple pumps! Life is too short not to wear pretty shoes.

  • kelly

    Sexy huh? Oh, Kate do tell about the lady in Union Station who fell and busted her azz. It was too damn funny, but I will admit the shoes were beautiful.

  • Lux Designer Shoes

    Great post! If you are interested, check out more information based on Artificial Intelligence data – How many hours can you wear Chrisitan Louboutin pumps, sandals, flats? How to select the correct size? And how to protect the red sole?

  • James Worley

    It’s worth noting that although the So Kate doesn’t *technically* come in any height but 120mm, you *can* get the So Kate’s silhouette in other heights by getting the Anjalina, which comes in flats, 85mm, 100mm, and 120mm. When the brand first released the Anjalina a couple years back, the press/web copy for the style read “Accented with . . . mini spikes, she makes a thrilling new style out of the . . . ‘So Kate’ last.” So, if you don’t mind spikes, you can indeed get the So Kate look in heights other than 120mm.

  • Sandy

    I must add that Christian Louboutin makes some very beautiful flats and reasonably heeled shoes, something for everyone. I agree with many that the 4 inch plus heels with the high pitch are beautiful but painful and the sole is pretty but slippery. I found this out after my first pair and now purchase the more moderate styles, just as beautiful and pain free!

  • missarewa

    Nice to see a shoe post. Please consider featuring some other wearable brands like Valentino, Giuseppe and Charlotte Olympia.

  • Maya

    Aesthetically absolutely gorgeous…in my view what a pump should look like but my feet hurt just looking at them…especially in the last picture:) I admire women who can do 10 cm and over heels every day…I really do!!

  • LatinaVaquerita

    Curious about the Pigalle Follies, how is the toe box for wider feet? My Decollete’s were very, very narrow, hoping someone who has worn the Decollete could comment on how the Follies compare in the toe box. Thank you!

    • Nora Herman

      They would be difficult with wide feet. The Décolleté has a generous toe box, where the Pigalle & SoKate are very small, similar to the Rolando.

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The team is joined by Guest Kats Rosie Burbidge, Stephen Jones, Mathilde Pavis, and Eibhlin Vardy, and by InternKats Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo, Hayleigh Bosher, Tian Lu and Cecilia Sbrolli.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Appeal's Court decision sees Louboutin's red soles triumphant (sort of)

The AmeriKat snuggly asleep moments before
the IPKat wakens her with news of
the Louboutin judgment
The AmeriKat was fast asleep in bed just now when her BlackBerry started vibrating off her bedside table with news that the long awaited judgment from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in the Louboutin v Yves Saint Laurent case has just been published.  The decision has overturned in part District Judge Marrero's earlier decision on whether Louboutin could use its trade mark red lacquered sole to prevent the sale of Yves Saint Laurent's red-soled red shoe.

In April last year, Christian Louboutin – famous for his signature and US trade marked red- lacquered soled high end women’s footwear – sued Yves Saint Laurent for trade mark infringement.  YSL sold a completely red shoe as part of its Tribute, Tribtoo, Palais and Woodstock models which featured monochrome coloring (i.e. red sole, red shoe; purple sole, purple shoe). In a much criticized decision, District Judge Marrero denied Louboutin’s request for an injunction preventing YSL’s sale of the shoe.  In the US colors per se can be registered as a trade mark if they have acquired a secondary meaning and if they are non-functional. That is to say that if a color acts as a symbol that distinguishes a brand's goods and identifies their source, without serving any other significant function, then the mark is capable of being registered. A defendant can argue that a registered mark is functional as a defence to trade mark infringement.
Louboutin's trade mark

In denying Louboutin's request for an injunction against YSL, the judge held that a single colour such as the “colour red” without limitation was too broad and inconsistent with the trade mark registration system established by the Lanham Act.  Judge Marrero’s decision caused a fashion frenzy in the fashion and trade mark spheres, inciting an expected appeal from Louboutin as well as amicus briefs from INTA (amicus brief here) and Tiffany (amicus brief here).  The briefs argued that the judge’s blanket rule that use of a single color on any “fashion item” was not protectable was not supported by previous caselaw and would create a dangerous precedent for the fashion industry even in cases where a single colour has acquired secondary meaning.  As predicted by the AmeriKat, each party’s respective commercial interests demanded that they continue fighting – YSL would not wish to limit their future collections by agreeing to never using monochrome red shoes, nor would Louboutin wish to leave the litigation with a critical court decision in respect of their trade mark registration hanging over their heads.  Therefore last December, YSL responded to Louboutin’s appeal and oral argument in the case was heard in the early part of this year by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.  
The Chinese red on the sole of a Louboutin
shoe is only protectable if on a contrasting
upper sole - so would this be "contrasting"

The 31-page decision of the Appeals Court, issued today, held that the District Court erred in holding that a single color could never serve as a trade mark in the fashion industry.  Such a decision was at odds with the Supreme Court's decision in Qualitex v Jacobson (1995which held that a single color can be a valid trade mark "where the color has attained 'secondary meaning' and therefore identifies and distinguishes a particular brand (and thus indicates its 'source')". The Court ruled that Louboutin's trade mark had acquired secondary meaning but that pusuant to section 1119 of the Lanham Act the Court instructed the USPTO to limit Louboutin's red sole trade mark to uses which the red sole contrasted with the remainder of the shoe - with that limitation the trade mark would be entitled to protection. Because YSL's shoe was a monochrome experience, the Appeals Court affirmed Judge Marrero's order insofar as it also declined to prohibit the use of red lacquered soles "in all situations", but denied his order that "purported to deny trade mark protection to Louboutin's use of contrasting red lacquered soles". 

 Writing the judgement, Circuit Judge Jose Cabranes  stated that:
"We see no reason why a single-color mark in the specific context of the fashion industry could not acquire secondary meaning―and therefore serve as a brand or source identifier―if it is used so consistently and prominently by a particular designer that it becomes a symbol, “the primary significance” of which is “to identify the source of the product rather than the product itself.” Inwood Labs., 456 U.S. at 851 n.11; see also Mana Prods., Inc., 65 F.3d at 1071 (“In light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Qualitex, color is today capable of obtaining trademark status in the same manner that a descriptive mark satisfies the statutory definition of a trademark, by acting as a symbol and attaining secondary meaning.”). . . 
Circuit Judge Cabranes
In light of the evidence in the record, including extensive consumer surveys submitted by both parties during the preliminary injunction proceedings, and of the factual findings of the District Court, we think it plain that Louboutin’s marketing efforts have created what the able district judge described as “a . . . brand with worldwide recognition,” Louboutin, 778 F. Supp. 2d at 448. By placing the color red “in [a] context [that] seems unusual,” Qualitex, 514 U.S. at 162, and deliberately tying that color to his product, Louboutin has created an identifying mark firmly associated with his brand which, “to those in the know,” “instantly” denotes his shoes’ source, Louboutin, 778 F. Supp. 2d at 448. These findings of fact by the District Court in addressing a motion for a preliminary injunction are not clearly erroneous. We hold that the lacquered red outsole, as applied to a shoe with an “upper” of a different color, has “come to identify and distinguish” the Louboutin brand, Qualitex, 514 U.S. at 163, and is therefore a distinctive symbol that qualifies for trademark protection.  
We further hold that the record fails to demonstrate that the secondary meaning of the Red Sole Mark extends to uses in which the sole does not contrast with the upper―in other words, when a red sole is used on a monochromatic red shoe. As the District Court observed, “[w]hen Hollywood starlets cross red carpets and high fashion models strut down runways, and heads turn and eyes drop to the celebrities’ feet, lacquered red outsoles on high-heeled, black shoes flaunt a glamorous statement that pops out at once.” Louboutin, 778 F. Supp. 2d at 448 (emphasis added)). As clearly suggested by the District Court, it is the contrast between the sole and the upper that causes the sole to “pop,” and to distinguish its creator.  
The evidentiary record further demonstrates that the Louboutin mark is closely associated with contrast. For example, Pinault, the chief executive of YSL’s parent company, wrote that the “distinctive signature” of the Mark is in its “contrast with the general presentation of the [shoe], particularly its upper.” Joint App’x 529. Of the hundreds of pictures of Louboutin shoes submitted to the District Court, only four were monochrome red. Compare id. 19, 415, 438, 587 (depicting monochrome Louboutin shoes), with id. 415–27, 431–47, 593–653, 680–724 (photographs and news articles depicting Louboutin shoes). And Louboutin’s own consumer surveys show that when consumers were shown the YSL monochrome red shoe, of those consumers who misidentified the pictured shoes as Louboutin-made, nearly every one cited the red sole of the shoe, rather than its general red color. We conclude, based upon the record before us, that Louboutin has not established secondary meaning in an application of a red sole to a red shoe, but only where the red sole contrasts with the “upper” of the shoe. The use of a red lacquer on the outsole of a red shoe of the same color is not a use of the Red Sole Mark. "
Louboutin (l) and one of the offending YSL shoes (r)
So Louboutin has avoided what would have otherwise been a complete disaster had the appeals court made a complete finding of invalidity of the Louboutin red-sole mark, while Yves Saint Laurent maintains their position that they should not be prevented from marketing a monochrome red shoe - the key factual issue that the AmeriKat considered would be important to court in determining whether YSL's shoes infringed Louboutin's mark.  David Bernstein (Debvoise & Plimpton) who acted on behalf of Yves Saint Laurent declared:
"We are happy to have achieved a victory in defending against Louboutin's lawsuit.  YSL will continue to produce monochromatic shoes with red outsoles, as it has done since the 1970s."
Harley Lewin (McCarter & English) for Louboutin stated that they considered the decision to be "a significant win, not only for Louboutin, but for the fashion industry in general".  Like the AmeriKat will be doing over the next few days, Lewin will also be "carefully study[ing]" the section of the ruling dealing with the distinction between monochromatic shoes and contrasting shoes and what it means for color trade marks in the fashion industry.  

But before she does, the AmeriKat is going back to bed.....

Lououtin sees red with Yves Saint Laurent (published 10 April 2011) (here)
Christian Louboutin: a (red) sole proprietor speaks (published 11 April 2011) (here, here and here)
Tiffany is blue for Louboutin's red soles  (published 14 November 2011) (here)
Law professors side with Yves Saint Laurent in Louboutin battle (published 9 January 2012) (here)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In the EU an order that the limitation on the registration require that the red sole eg 'contrasts with the remainder of the shoe' would be likely to stretch the bounds of legal certainty to breaking point.

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