Here’s an early contender for the most coveted high heel of 2014, and there’s no surprise that it comes from Christian Louboutin. Meet the Youpi peep toe stiletto with 4.5 inch self-covered heel, which is now available online at Saks for $625. In a pretty sure sign of things to come, some sizes have already sold out even though the shoe is only available on pre-order at this point in time.
Youpi is the most beautiful peep toe we’ve seen Christian Louboutin make in recent memory, so it is little wonder that the shoe is being snapped up. Its mirrored patent leather upper evokes comparison with Louboutin’s most famous shoe – the Pigalle. The thin stiletto heel looks a lot like Louboutin’s sexy so So Kate pump (although Youpi is half an inch shorter, making it easier to walk in). And all three high heels have the same price tag of $625, and bear the designer’s signature red leather soles.
The Youpi is hand-made in Italy and has a leather lining and padded insole for comfort. The shoe can be pre-ordered from Saks right now. And, in case you’re wondering about the name, Youpi is a French expression meaning “yippee!” or “yahoo!” which seems quite appropriate. Youpi! for Youpi indeed.
We’ve often covered Christian Louboutin’s iconic Pigalle pump on this website. The low-cut high-heeled pump is a classic, so much so that in 2010 Louboutin described it as “the design that encapsulates my career.”
The shoe has long been available in its original form of black with a red sole, and that version retails for around US$625 (if you can get your hands on a pair). But the designer has created plenty of variations on the theme too, some of them very expensive.
The most expensive Pigalles we can find right now are these gold ones in crystal ring strass (also known as rhinestone). Each piece of crystal on the 5 inch heels is surrounded by a golden ring. Right now only one size is available, a 38.5. And the price? A mere $3,395 from the Christian Louboutin website.
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If you’d love a really special Pigalle but don’t have over three thousand dollars at your disposal then perhaps the spiky Pigalles pictured above might do. This black nappa (sheep’s) leather version of the classic Pigalle is covered in silver, rhodium, black and pale-gold spike studs.
A pair will cost about twice as much as an ordinary pair of Pigalles, but only half as much as the strass version. We found these Pigalle spikes at net-a-porter.com for $1,295.
Red sole maestro Christian Louboutin’s Fall / Winter 2013 collection is now available for purchase on the designer’s website. As usual there’s a mix of new heels and new takes on favourite shapes, with shoes ranging from classical to downright bizarre.
My pick of the bunch are the Iriza d’Orsay pumps in leopard printed pony. This newcomer to the Louboutin collection has a number of sexy features: a cut-out d’Orsay arch, pointed toe and manageably hot 4 inch heel.
If you love the shape of this shoe but don’t like the animal print then there’s good news for you too: Iriza is also available in a rose antique colour with a glitter finish. That look is $200 cheaper than the leopard look – you can snatch up a pair from Louboutin for $625.
When I saw these new slingbacks from Christian Louboutin, one thing came immediately to mind: toe cleavage! Nobody does toe cleavage like Louboutin, and these high heels reveal just about as much of it as any of the Master’s shoes.
Not that Christian Louboutin doesn’t know what he’s doing and why. Louboutin’s shoes are almost all engineered to deliberately show generous portions of the “third cleavage” as he calls it. Last year he even explained the method behind these daring cutaways, as part of the 20th anniversary of his label. Asked about toe cleavage, Christian Louboutin explained:
“[T]he word cleavage, first, comes [from] woman in this part [here the designer indicates towards his (boob-less) chest].
“The second cleavage of a woman is [her] bottom — the arse.
“And the third possible cleavage is actually that one [here Louboutin strokes his fingers along the toe-cleavage part of one of his pumps]. And what makes a toe cleavage becoming quite sexy is this very simple thing that it is about suggestion and it is a suggestion about another cleavage.”
You can view the full Christian Louboutin interview here:
As for the toe-cleavage slingbacks, they are new to Louboutin and called Flueve. The sharply pointed toe is mirrored and accentuated with a V-cut vamp which reveals enough of the third cleavage to leave most men breathless.
Flueve has a patent leather upper, Louboutin’s signature red sole and a 4 1/2 ” covered stiletto heel with a sexy narrow slingback strap. Made in Italy, it’s available on pre-order from Neiman Marcus for $625.
Only 10 months ago, Kim Kardashian posted a picture of herself in “full on beast mode,” on all fours on a white couch wearing black over the knee boots and not terribly much else. Now it seems that at least one pair of her designer FMBs is for sale. The star has put this pair of Christian Louboutin over the knee boots up for auction on her eBay site.
We wonder if the sale is just part of a regular closet clean out, or has the mother-to-be decided that over the knee boots are just a little too racy for her pending maternal role? Well, at least we doubt she’ll be giving birth in them. And a little speculation is always fun.
The black suede boots have certainly seen some action if the scuff marks on their red soles are any indication. The eBay posting notes this and also states that the boots are “pre-owned [and] in very good condition.” They are in Kim Kardashian’s shoe size, which is a 37 in Louboutins (in case you were wondering) and have a 5 inch heel with a 1 inch platform.
As with all Kim’s auctions, a percentage of the takings will be given to charity (the proportion is not specified). So if you manage to snag these boots, the Life Change Community Church will get some of your hard earned dollars. Bidders had better hurry: the auction is only open for another 2 and a half days and the price is already nearing US$1,000. Awaken your inner “beast mode” today.
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.
Newly-single Katie Holmes has celebrated her break-up with Tom Cruise by splashing out on 15 pairs of brand new Christian Louboutin high heels, according to a report in the National Enquirer this week. A source has disclosed that the glamorous actress “went on a tear” at Barneys, purchasing a closet full of suits and dressses at the iconic New York department store – along with lingerie and 15 pairs of Louboutins.
There are sadly no details available of the designer shoes Katie purchased, or how many Louboutins she already owns, but she would be by no means the only celebrity to have a closet full of red-soled high heels. Earlier this year Kim Kardashian confessed that her shoe closet houses 224 pairs of Louboutins alone! And Blake Lively, who recently said it was “embarrassing” how many pairs of Louboutins she owns, reportedly bought 40 pairs of the legendary designer’s shoes at a sample sale in New York last year.
Katie Holmes was often been seen in flat shoes during her five year marriage to Tom Cruise, not wanting to tower over her then-husband in sky-high stilettos. However, with her divorce settlement now finalised, it seems that high heels are firmly back on the 33 year old’s agenda. The Enquirer’s source was even quoted as saying that Katie had fallen “head over heels” for high heels – which might be easy to do if you can afford to splurge out on 15 pairs of Louboutins.
While we don’t know the details of Katie’s purchases, we hope they included a pair of Christian Louboutin’s Daffodile crystal-embellished suede pumps (pictured). The 6.5 inch heels are bound to stop traffic and attract photographers, and they come with a celebrity price tag too: £3,900.60 (over $5,000) from net-a-porter.
Christian Louboutin has lost another legal battle to protect his famous red soled shoes from so-called imitators. This month the Cour de Cassation, France’s final Court of Appeal, dismissed the designer’s appeal against an earlier decision in favour of Spanish retailer Zara.
The drama began back in 2008 when Louboutin sued Zara for “counterfeiting and unfair competition.” Louboutin alleged that a $70 pair of red-soled Zara slingbacks were confusingly like his Louboutin “YoYo” slingback, which retailed for nearly ten times the price (the pair above were available through Neiman Marcus for $690).
Louboutin had earlier registered a trademark in France in respect of the exclusive right to make shoes with red soles for “women’s high fashion designer footwear.” The battlefield was thus set for a showdown between Zara – the affordable producer famed for getting the latest fashion designs to a mass market more quickly than anyone else – and Louboutin, who is notorious for his aggressive approach to claiming ownership of putting red soles on high heeled shoes.
Zara lost the first round of the court battle, but in June 2011 the retailer succeeded on appeal with the court ruling that customers would not confuse the two red-soled slingbacks. Zara successfully argued that the terms of Louboutin’s trademark registration were too vague, in a submission reminiscent of the argument accepted when Louboutin unsuccessfully sued YSL. Zara also argued that the trademark did not contain a Pantone colour reference for the red soles.
This month the Cour de Cassation has brought the matter to a close by dismissing Louboutin’s final appeal. It held that there was no proven risk of confusion between the Louboutin and Zara shoes.
The court also required Louboutin to pay compensation to Zara of approximately $3,500. For a company with an annual revenue that exceeds $250 million, that should not pose too much of a problem. And with Zara having an annual revenue itself of about $10 billion, it is unlikely this case was ever really about the money.
In the wake of the court’s decision the Louboutin brand was undeterred, with Alexis Mourot, the group COO and GM saying Louboutin would continue defending its red soles in court cases: “Another red sole trademark application has been successfully registered and we will enforce this trademark against any infringers.”
Christian Louboutin himself initially declined to comment, but subsequently released the following statement:
Much of the discussion either implies or states that through this ruling we have lost our rights to our world famous Red Sole Trademark. We would like to clarify that what has been disputed and cancelled is only one French registration of said Red sole Trademark.
Christian Louboutin continues to own valid and enforceable trademark rights in its Red Sole Trademark, including in France itself as well as throughout the world. A number of court decisions have recognised the strong association between Christian Louboutin and the Red Sole Trademark, including in France.
Christian Louboutin will continue to protect and enforce its rights to its Red Sole Trademark which has been its iconic signature for the past 20 years. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of the people who continually show support to our brand.”
Christian Louboutin’s shoes may not be known for their comfort or practicality – in fact earlier this year Louboutin famously declared he hated comfort – but the designer may have gotten the combination just right with this new leopard-look bootie from his fall and winter 2012 collection.
Unlike some of his more towering stilettos, the Dugueclina has a 4 inch heel – that’s an average height, by today’s standards – and no platform. Practicality is enhanced because it is a simple slip-on with no laces or buckles anywhere to be seen.
Best of all, the Dugueclina is not a peep-toe bootie! That fashion trend was difficult to understand in the first place – booties are supposed to keep you warm, not freeze your toes off – so hopefully Louboutin is leading the charge in the other direction.
The Dugueclina exhibits typical Louboutin craftsmanship, with elegant dipped sides and beautiful flowing lines. The bootie is available in black suede or plum suede from Neiman Marcus for $995, or in leopard or black leather from Louboutin for €795.
Designer Christian Louboutin has been asked to name 9 things that every woman should own and, not surprisingly, he has nominated a pair of his own high heels for inclusion. What might be surprising though is that only one pair of high heels are included in Louboutin’s list and 7 of the 9 items are not even shoes.
The high heels Louboutin nominated are his iconic Pigalles. “Simple and balanced. I’ve never seen someone who didn’t look good in it,” the designer said. While very popular in their original black, the Pigalle now comes in a whole range of colors, including pivoine (above, US$625 from Louboutin).
Louboutin also included a pair of flats in his list of 9 things, of his own design, naturally. The Copt flats (above) are included “to add a little pop of color to your look” and are collectors items at US$1,895.
The other 7 things that Christian Louboutin said that every woman should own were: