NEW YORK — From intellectual property to mergers and acquisitions, fashion designers and brands often face their own unique set of issues that require legal aid. But until now, law schools haven’t really treated fashion as a dedicated field.
This fall, Fordham Law School will change that with the Fashion Law Institute, which university officials claim is the first of its kind in the world. The institute, being created with the support of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, aims to serve as a resource for law students interested in fashion as well as design students and designers by offering them information and counsel on specific fashion industry issues.
Fordham Law School professor Susan Scafidi, who has spearheaded the creation of the first U.S. law school course in fashion law at Fordham and who is considered a specialist in issues such as copyright infringement, will direct the new institute.
“There are so many issues the industry has questions and needs advice on, and we need legal professionals who are prepared to answer the questions,” Scafidi said. “This institute will fill that gap in terms of training lawyers and hopefully also reaching out to emerging designers and students, because the best way to stay out of legal trouble is to know as much about the law as you can.”
Industry executives, from CFDA members to independent and young designers and students, can reach out to the institute for legal information, which she said was free of charge. The institute is slated to launch in late August with the beginning of the fall semester at Fordham.
With the help of the CFDA, Fordham is putting together an advisory board of executives from the fashion industry and the legal profession.
“We need lawyers, and it’s very nice to have people who want to specialize in law for the fashion business,” said CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg, who has vowed to help the institute financially and will help raise money for it.
CFDA executive director Steven Kolb added that as fashion continues to evolve, designers face more complex issues.
“[Now] there will be lawyers who are interested in fashion graduating with a better set of skills,” Kolb said. “As these lawyers are trained, we will be able to directly connect our membership to the Fashion Law Institute for counseling and advice.”
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)