Loro Piana Takes Legal Action to Protect White Sole Shoes

MILAN — Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but Loro Piana is now speaking up and fighting to protect its intellectual property.

The Italian luxury brand said it is “taking specific legal action against those who attempt to undermine the iconic nature“ of its White Sole shoes.

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First launched in 2005 as sailing boat shoes, their popularity, relying on comfort and lightness, turned them into everyday, urban footwear.

“Over time, White Sole shoes have become a distinctive mark of the maison, and it is precisely for this reason that Loro Piana is committed to defending its brand heritage,” said the company in a statement seen by WWD.

Additional details were not available given the legal nature of the initiative.

Loro Piana is controlled by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, and last year it appointed Dior executive Damien Bertrand as its new chief executive officer. The Italian brand is known for its luxury fabrics and quiet chic, and has been increasingly expanding its lifestyle range.

Founded in 1924 and based in Quarona, Italy, Loro Piana is billed as the largest cashmere manufacturer and the biggest single purchaser of the world’s finest wools. The brand is vertically integrated, from access to the finest raw materials to distribution, and operates with an entirely made-in-Italy policy via nine production sites.

Over the years, Christian Louboutin has also famously initiated several legal battles to protect his famous red-sole design, which is currently registered as a trademark in the United States and the European Union.

By Louboutin’s own account, he came upon his signature color when, unhappy with the look of a shoe, he took a coworker’s red nail polish and painted the sole red.

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