This has the potential to become a full-blown fashion feud.
On Tuesday afternoon, Christian Louboutin walked into the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, surrounded by "dozens" of young women in red-soled Louboutin stilettos.
Among his sea of supporters sat designer / CFDA President Diane von Furstenberg, who attended the 40-minute hearing to publicly defend her dear friend Christian.
In the fashion industry, DvF is not the only one to take sides. Last fall, Tiffany & Co.'s legal team filed a brief supporting Louboutin's ownership of the red-sole mark.
A stoic and internally-distraught Louboutin told WWD, “For YSL and PPR Group, this might just be a legal matter, but that’s not the case for me." Note: PPR is the French luxury group that owns Yves Saint Laurent.
He continued, “On the contrary, to me it is very personal: After all, this is an intrinsic part of my life and my company, which bears my name- and which I have built over the past 20 years and still independently own. This is why I had to be there in person.”
According to the WSJ, the judges struggled with two prevalent issues during the hearing. They questioned whether District Judge Victor Marrero, who denied Louboutin's request for a preliminary injunction, "properly interpreted trademark law" stating the "likelihood of confusion" over the two brands.
This topic not only evokes emotional and polarizing opinions from fashion designers and retailers, but also among copyright lawyers, professors and industry professionals. Susan Scafidi, a Fordham fashion-law professor, attended the hearing in black patent leather Louboutin pumps (does anyone else see the irony in that description?), claiming that she was "voting with my feet."
After all, for most, the issue at hand extends far beyond shoes.