NEW YORK — Stanley C. Lesser, an attorney who was an early advocate of designers’ rights to their names, died at his New York home on Sunday. He was 72 and had a brain tumor, according to David Harrison, his partner in the firm of Lesser & Harrison.

During his 48-year law career, Lesser represented designers such as Perry Ellis, Cynthia Steffe, Bill Robinson, Victor Costa, Cathy Hardwick, Jeffrey Banks, David Minka and Chrystine Forti. In the Seventies, when designers were only beginning to rise as celebrities, Lesser helped clients protect the rights to their names and designs.

"They were to a large extent, I’ll use the term ‘abused,’ by the trade," at the time, said Harrison. "He brought a sagacious approach to these things that some of these folks didn’t have."

Lesser is survived by his wife, Diana; two daughters, Karen and Susan; a son, David and six grandchildren.

Funeral services are scheduled for today at 11:45 a.m. at The Riverside, West 76th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, in Manhattan.

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