French designer Christian Louboutin — he of your christian louboutin australia — is intending to appeal a newly released New York Court decision that allows rival company Yves Saint Laurent to carry on its very own scarlet-soled pumps. Louboutin had his signature trademarked in 2006, however the decision could ultimately change that, permitting legions of copycats to maximize the red sole’s se-xy appeal.
The truth has caused a bit of confusion inside the fashion community. (Can’t YSL find another color — say, yellow — without taking Louboutin’s signature?, they ask.) For Louboutin, having painted the soles of his shoes red since 1992, red implies sensuality — and serves as a crafty, subtle branding tool. “I selected the hue since it is engaging, flirtatious, memorable as well as the shade of passion,” he told The Brand New Yorker in March. But red also carries connotations of wealth and power, especially in the reputation of fashion and footwear. Its potent symbolism and strange history give some insight into why it remains this type of attractive color for shoe designers — and why they are likely to battle in the courtroom over its use.
In Western societies, red long served as a symbol of ferocity and power, worn by soldiers, monarchs, the papacy and other important figures. The Original Greeks and Romans carried warning signs in battles, and as late since the 1800s soldiers wore red in the field as a way to intimidate their enemies. In the book The Red Dress, fashion historian Valerie Steele describes how Duke John the Fearless of Burgundy arrived in Paris in 1406, victorious and wearing “a red velvet suit lined with grey fur and worked over with gold foliage” — a sign of his power. It’s a tactic which has remained popular among executives and politicians: Think about the Wall Street execs from the ’80s making use of their red suspenders or ties, or Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi with their red “power suits” today.
Red also signified privilege: Red dyes were expensive to produce, so only those with power and status can afford to use them. (The Chinese stated that red dye is made of dragon’s blood — imbuing colour with rare magic.) Many European societies imposed sumptuary laws, which dictated what certain social classes could wear, and red was often restricted to princes or nobility. (One of many people’s demands throughout the Peasants’ Revolt in Germany in the 16th century was the right to wear red, and, obviously, the French Revolutionaries adopted the colour being a symbol of rebellion.)
One specific mark of class distinction was the red-heeled shoe, which aristos began sporting in the 1600s. Charles II of England wore them; a 1675 portrait of him demonstrates that his louboutin australia had not only red heels but red soles too. Nevertheless it was Louis XIV of France who made them the “it” item among Europe’s monarchs. Red heels were extremely important for the Sun King that he passed an edict praoclaiming that only people in the nobility by birth could wear them. In accordance with Philip Mansel’s Dressed to Rule, the painted heels demonstrated that nobles did not dirty their shoes. They also established that their wearers were “always ready to crush the enemies of the state at their feet.”
The French Revolution banished the “Louis heel,” although other European nobility continued putting them on, like the English. But red shoes would resurface again — in culture also in fashion. Hans Christian Andersen used the red shoe as being a symbol of wealth and vanity in his morality fairytale The Red Shoes. Clearly, he shared french Revolutionaries’ distrust of red footwear. Fashion illustrations in the 1920s and ’30s, however, depict rouge heels much less symbols of class oppression and power, but of fun and coquetry. A drawing from the 1920 catalog in the Fashion Institute of Technology’s archives in The Big Apple shows a slim, elegant woman within a fur-trimmed coat and cloche hat wearing adorable black shoes with red heels. The surrealist designer Elsa Schiaparelli’s famous “shoe” hat — an upside-down shoe worn on one’s head — experienced a shocking-pink heel.
The 1939 version from the Wizard of Oz swapped Dorothy’s silver shoes inside the book for ruby slippers, which in fact had red soles. Dorothy’s slippers not only conveyed magic and whimsy, additionally they gave her confidence and said something regarding the transformative power of fashion — or of a particular accessory or garment.
More recently, red soles have brought glamour and s-ex entice the shoe. Valentino Garavani, the perennially tanned and fabulous Italian couturier, has intermittently produced red-heeled chr1stin since 1969 to choose his famous elegant red gowns. (The color he uses, an orangey rouge, is usually called “Valentino red.”) From the 1970s, Yves Saint Laurent — known for his gender-bending, se-xy fashions that empowered women — established the monochrome shoe, which is entirely one color — from your leather upper on the inside to the heel and also the sole. YSL produced purple, blue and, yes, red monochrome shoes through the ’70s and ’80s. Another famed shoemaker, Charles Jourdan — under whom Louboutin apprenticed from the ’80s — also painted the soles of his louboutin shoes Sydeny.
Today, a flash of any red sole not just screams “Louboutin” — it also reveals something concerning the wearer. She is, like her Medieval and Renaissance precursors, well-off or upwardly mobile. (Louboutin’s shoes cost between $400 and $6,000.) The red makes her feel powerful (like John the Fearless or YSL’s women), along with s-exy and possibly even naughty. In the profile in the shoe designer, the brand new Yorker referred to as the red soles “a marketing gimmick that renders an otherwise indistinguishable product instantly recognizable.” Yet for many designers and consumers — and in many cases, probably, for Louboutin — the red sole is more than that.