Fashion Law: Is it becoming a trend?

Fashion Law is a growing legal practice in this generation. It is a legal field covering issues that arise from clothing, designs or fashion accessory industry. This legal field has been defined with these four principal areas of coverage: intellectual property; business and finance, including areas such as investment, employment and labour laws, and real estate; international trade and government regulation, including sustainability, privacy, and issues related to wearable technology; and, consumer culture and civil rights. The practice of fashion is sometimes related with the textile industry, modelling, media, cosmetics and perfume manufacturing.


Although fashion industry has been apparent throughout history, the practice and recognition of fashion law as a distinct area of legal field was recent. Because of the increasing number of clients in this field, Fordham University took the chance to become the first law school to establish a fashion program. Now the university aims to revolutionize the study of fashion law. The school launched LLM in Fashion Law for lawyers and MSL in Fashion Law for current and aspiring designers, executives, entrepreneurs, and other professionals in the fashion industry. Scholarships are offered to those that qualify. The programs are offered part- time and full time and must be taken for two semesters. Other law schools have also started offering fashion law programs including New York University, Loyola law School in Lo Angeles and Benjamin N. Cardozo school of Law.


It appears that the practice of fashion law is becoming a trend. The world has seen innovations in the fashion industry and people are becoming more and more engaged with fashion. In New York, the hottest new trend is believed to be emerging from a surprisingly atypical venue, the law practice. Now, the usual serious and mostly stressful typical lawyers have recognized fashion law as one of the most lucrative area of specialty.


For the past decade, we have seen the surfacing of breed of new wealth; it includes famous designers, manufacturers and brand holders. Because of this, the fashion law is given high expectation of a profitable legal career.  Fashion industries have become more and more engaged with the legal demands and the skepticism arising from protection of trade issues resulted to the hiring of legal professionals. Because of the introduction of fashion law as a field of specialty, many market players opted for specialist attorneys. Trademarks, copyrights, labels and other fashion related legal issues are those that qualify as high- paying cases.  Imagine the cost litigation involving designer labels such as Louis Vuitton, Christian Louboutin, and other high end brands. Most of the suits involve an exclusivity right, which is mostly given importance by these brands to maintain the overly priced items that they make.


According to the Boston Consulting Group, the global luxury market is valued at almost $985 billion and continuously mounting, it should actually be regarded as a surprise why lawyers have taken so long to take a direct interest on the field of fashion law. Gone are the days when fashion was thought to be just a frivolous world for law professionals, now the surfacing of luxury law is becoming a demand. Lawyers should see the opportunities of this new field especially that fashion has a very wide scope, being more international and much more complex as the time passes.