But now designer Christian Louboutin is determined to make sure they also remain associated with his name.
The luxury shoemaker, whose creations can cost thousands of dollars a pair, is taking legal action to try to stop Yves Saint Laurent America selling ‘virtually identical’ red-soled footwear in the same fashionable New York shops that stock the Louboutins favoured by celebrities such as Elle Macpherson and Madonna.
Distinctive: YSL, which has put red soles on a number of styles including the Palais (left) has been accused of copying Christian Louboutin's trademark (right)
He is seeking more than $1million damages in a Manhattan federal court for alleged trademark infringement and counterfeiting of his shoes’ most distinctive feature.
According to the lawsuit: ‘Mr Louboutin is the first designer to develop the idea of having red soles on women’s shoes. The location of the bright colour on the outsole of a woman’s pump is said to provide an alluring “flash of red” when a woman walks down the street, or on the red carpet of a special event.’
The Parisian shoemaker, who cited four YSL designs, has asked the court to order his rival to stop manufacturing similar designs.
Yves Saint Laurent and its owner, the Gucci Group, has not commented on the lawsuit.
idk about everyone, but I think the YSL pumps aren't that pretty anyway.