It was almost three years ago when I first heard about fashion law. It was a growing practice area at the time, but I was excited to find a field of law that became the focus of my legal education. Indeed, the discovery made my gnawing law school angst and doubts disappear. Since then, the field has expanded and gained quite a bit of traction among law students and practicing attorneys. Nevertheless, the question continues to follow me- what IS fashion law?
Fashion law is a specialized field that encompasses intellectual property, employment, contracts, trade, and various corporate law issues. With the advent of e-commerce and social media, internet law has also become part of the legal repertoire. Fashion lawyers can have clients that range from emerging designers, to fast-fashion retailers, to major luxury brand conglomerates. This may all sound very glamorous, but the reality is that fashion is a multi-billion dollar industry conducting serious business transactions. Behind those transactions are the fashion lawyers whose legal knowledge is imperative to the process of building a successful brand and company. With their specialization, they can provide the specific legal solutions that cater to the industry's particular needs.
As fashion law continues to establish itself, TFG must highlight the work of Susan Scafidi. As the author of Counterfeit Chic and a pioneer in fashion law, Scafidi established and legitimized the practice area with her legislative efforts behind the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act (IDPPPA) and serving as the director of Fordham Law School's Fashion Law Institute. With the support of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), fashion law will continue to grow as a practice area.