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.”
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty