Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Shoes vs. the Law

There has recently been a lot of coverage in the papers (the fashion section of course) about Christian Louboutin and his claim that the red sole is his trademark. Well the matter of the fact is that other designers had used red soles on their shoes many years before he coined his red bottoms.  Valentino himself had decided to use red sole to match his trademark red dresses 20 years before Louboutin coined his own. Loubi began a lawsuit against other designers like YSL who also painted some of their soles red, and since Loubi has the trademark on it, he is a bit upset.  So what is a designer to do in said situation? Can you really claim to own the color of the bottom of a shoe when other more established and prominent designers have used it before you? If you would like to find out how Christian had his red epiphany, click here, its actually a quite interesting story. 
  On a similar note, one of the biggest threats designers face now more than ever is the issue of knockoffs. Sure, you can find a $20 Louis Vuitton Speedy in China Town, but now you can also find the Proenza PS1 in Target. Lawyers who tackle these types of situations have a concentration in intellectual property rights, which I personally find fascinating. In this case, Proenza Schouler infuriated by the fact that Target, who they had been planning on teaming up with to create their own retail label together (like so many other designers nowadays), created a "look-a-like" of their signature PS1 bag. Now, I understand how a designer can get mad when they see their bags being knocked off, but no offense, this PS1 bag is nothing special. This lawsuit doesn't stand a chance because honestly I  have seen people carrying this kind of bag around for years (and they are most definitely not paying 2G for it)! This bag is very simple and generic and so the chances of any chain store carrying it are beyond high. For more details on the subject, click.

What are your opinions on the subject? Do you really think that Proenza has a right to claim this bag design as their own? Please do tell.

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