FASHION LAW: WHAT IT IS AND WHY IT IS NEEDED
Fashion law is that area of law that deals with the day-to-day business problems of the fashion industry. As with other, recently-developed subspecialties of business law (such as entertainment law, sports law, or art law), fashion law is actually a compilation of several different legal disciplines. Thus, fashion law incorporates relevant concepts from intellectual property, commercial sales, customs, real estate, employment and advertising law, among others.
The concept of fashion law is a relatively new one, with the first American college course in fashion law taught in 2006 (at the Fashion Institute of Technology) and the first law school course in 2008 (at Fordham University).
An increasing number of law firms and general counsel have chosen to specialize in the legal issues of the fashion industry. Lawyers who serve fashion clients or work in fashion companies know that an important part of their practice involves knowledge of the business side of fashion. Like other business lawyers, fashion lawyers must be familiar with the business environment that their clients face. It is therefore one of the aims of this website to help designers, attorneys and fashion professionals to address the most common legal and business issues that arise in the ordinary conduct of affairs of a fashion company.
The fashion and apparel sector has become one of the largest and most dynamic in the global economy, accounting for nearly 4 percent of total global G.D.P., a sum now in excess of $1 trillion per year. Fashion companies have grown enormously in social and economic importance. Bernard Arnault, the CEO of the French fashion-luxury house LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, is France’s wealthiest citizen, while Luis Amancio Ortega, the founder of the Zara retail chain, is Spain’s wealthiest. In 1998, fashion designer Donna Karan sold the company she had founded in 1985 to LVMH for $643 million. America’s largest company, Wal-Mart, earns a significant portion of its $500 billion in annual revenues from the sale of apparel.
As the fashion industry has grown in size and scope, it has begun to leave a growing trail of litigation behind it. All large industries are marked by some degree of litigation, and there is no reason that the fashion industry should be any different. The accumulated insights and legal principles established in these cases have created a sort of “fashion jurisprudence.”
The brief law review article below provides a concise and thorough introduction to the legal issues generated by the fashion sector:
Click Here: NYSBA Article
“Fashion Law: Key Issues in an Emerging Legal Discipline”
Guillermo C. Jimenez, Barbara Kolsun, George Gottlieb and Marc Misthal
Reprinted with permission from the NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION JOURNAL OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, “BRIGHT IDEAS,” Fall 2010, Vol. 19, No. 2