Bad-ass supermodel Kate Moss has appeared on the cover of Playboy’s 60th anniversary edition wearing a pair of Saint Laurent high heels. The stilettos are Saint Laurent’s classic Paris Escarpins (“escarpin” is French for a high heeled pump). The shoe is the signature pump of the French brand still commonly known as Yves Saint Laurent (or YSL) even though the “Yves” was dropped from the women’s ready-to-wear line back in 2012.
Paris is notable for its square suspended high heel which is visible on Kate’s pair above, but can be seen better in the close up below. According to the Saint Laurent website the shoes have a 10.5cm high heel (4.2 inch) high heel and are made in Italy of 100% calf-skin leather.
The Kate Moss Playboy photoset for the January / February 2014 edition was “shot” by fashion photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. The duo shared the above picture of the official US cover via their Instagram account back at the end of 2013. I haven’t seen the photos (and good God I don’t want to) but if the cover is any guide then Kate’s Saint Laurent high heels are the only thing about the pictures that haven’t been photoshopped within an inch of their life.
When the star turned up to publicise the Playboy anniversary edition at a signing at the Marc Jacobs store in London, she was all but unrecognisable from the cover photo. Gone were the Saint Laurent pumps, replaced by a pair of red-soled Christian Louboutin pumps.
More significantly though, gone were the smooth tanned legs from the cover photo. The reality instead disclosed that Kate has two crooked, veiny, misshapen, wrinkled and probably misaligned pins that reflect all the hard-living and body-bashing that the model has inflicted on herself over a 25 year career. As for her top half, I couldn’t bear to look.
With lashings of rock and roll attitude, the YSL Janis boots are everything we want in hot-to-trot footwear. There’s the uber cool python finish which adds a totally textural, 1970s vibe. The deep, inky goes-with-everything black. The so cool it hurts dramatic arch. The skyscraper 5 inch heel and 1 inch platform. Not to mention the silver buckle and bondage-inspired strap. At £1360 they do come under the heading of an investment piece but, with YSL’s design heritage they’re an instant classic that you’ll wear again and again. £1,360 from Net-a-Porter.com.
At four inches, with oodles of slim line, sexy, stiletto heel to admire, these Tribtoo lovelies make Monday seem A-ok as far as we’re concerned.
Made in Italy, the homeland of all that is beautiful and truly covetable on the footwear front, the Yves Saint Laurent Tribtoo is textured, patent, leather perfection with a super sized platform and super stylish square toe.
The blush pink version is just a half inch shy of a six inch heel height but the black 4 inch is equally mouthwatering. Decisions, decisions. Buy online at Barneys NYC. Pink version currently out of stock, black version priced at $875.
Christian Louboutin has a valid and enforceable trademark in his red soles, so the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has found this week. After hearing argument in an appeal filed by Louboutin in his litigation against Yves Saint Laurent, Circuit Judges Cabranes, Straub and Livingston reversed an earlier decision of the District Court that found that a single color could never serve as a trademark in the fashion industry.
However, there was a catch. The judges found that Louboutin had an enforceable trademark in his red soles only where the use of the red lacquered outsole contrasted with the color of the adjoining upper (for example, black high heels with red soles). The Second Circuit affirmed the District Court’s decision insofar as it refused to find that “monochrome” shoes (ie shoes where the outsoles were the same color as the shoe itself) infringed Louboutin’s trademark. That means that high heels like Louboutin’s red Filo patent leather pumps above (£408.33 from net-a-porter) do not receive trademark protection.
The court case had begun in 2011 when YSL prepared to market a line of monochrome shoes including an all red version. The upshot of the appeal decision is that YSL is free to market its monochrome red shoe, but that the court has confirmed that Louboutin has effective trademark protection in respect of the use of the red sole with a contrasting (ie non-red) upper.
The judgment of the court referred to other instances where a single color had held to be capable of trademark protection, such as pink insulation batts and yellow taxi cabs. The judges stated that that there was no per se rule that governed the protection of single-color marks in the fashion industry any more than it could do so in any other industry. The appeal court found that the District Court judge’s finding that a single color could never serve as a trademark in the fashion industry was erroneous and inconsistent with a prior decision of the Supreme Court of the United States.
The appeal court held that the contrasting red soles met the required test for “distinctiveness” because they had acquired, through use, “secondary meaning” in the public eye. Secondary meaning is acquired when in the minds of the public, the primary significance of a product feature is to identify the source of the product rather than the product itself.
In considering this question, the appeal court referred to the extensive evidence of Louboutin’s advertising expenditures, media coverage and sales success. It found that Louboutin had demonstrated that, in his contrasting red soles, he had created a symbol that had gained secondary meaning that caused it to be uniquely associated with the Louboutin brand.
As further evidence of the notoriety of the brand, the court referred to the confiscation last month of over 20,000 fake Louboutins that were illegally shipped to the United States. The judgment described the seizure as an “example of the interest of plagiarizers in “knocking off” Louboutin’s mark.”
You can read the whole decision of the Second Circuit in Christian Louboutin S.A. v. Yves Saint Laurent Am. Holding, Inc here.