TITLE: Shoe designer and founder.
COMPANY: Christian Louboutin
NOMINATED FOR: Louboutin scarcely left the headlines in 2012. In addition to celebrating the 20th anniversary of his shoe brand with a capsule collection, a book and a string of public appearances, the French shoe designer spent much of the year engulfed in a red-hot U.S. court battle with Yves Saint Laurent over his trademark to red-soled shoes. Louboutin lawyer Harley Lewin argued his case in January before a packed courtroom, which included industry figures such as Council of Fashion Designers of America president Diane von Furstenberg, CFDA chief executive officer Steven Kolb and an apprehensive Louboutin.
“I must say, in my 40-year career, I’ve never seen a case go more wide than this one,” Lewin remarked. “It had a celebrity, fashion and legal side to it, but once the consumer got involved, that changed the face of the case. It was tried in the courtroom and the court of public opinion.”
Louboutin fans including Blake Lively and the Olsen twins can breathe a sigh of relief: The case was closed in October with both sides claiming victory, after the court upheld Louboutin’s trademark on shoes with contrasting red soles, while also granting YSL the right to continue selling red pumps with red soles.