The area of my practice that deals with the dreams and aspirations of fashion designers, models, graphic designers, brand developers and manufacturers is one of the most exciting areas of my law firm. I grew up in the women’s retail apparel industry, have designed 2 lines of women’s wear (evening gowns, sportswear, resort wear, and so on) and have had 2 full runway shows.
I understand the business, the issues, and the financing of the apparel business. My work with designers is a true delight as I watch their brands develop and grow into real businesses, with revenues, distribution, new designs, and a continual flow of creativity.
And with growth and increasing brand awareness, the possibility of licensing enters the picture in very exciting ways. And, licensing has its own sets of issues for the fashion designer, like protecting her quality, the distribution, the use of the mark, and so on.
The aspects of fashion law that are so necessary to building and maintaining strong brands include intellectual property (and especially trademarks), original textile designs, licensing, creating strong contracts, reviewing contracts, negotiating contracts, dealing with independent contractor versus employee issues (including labor laws), import and export issues, manufacturing, sourcing of fabrics and talent, and so on.
A significant component of representing designers is the protection of the use of their trademarks by others. Being awarded a trademark by the US Patent and Trademark Office is the beginning of branding. Thereafter, you must police your mark by enforcing your exclusivity or you risk losing this valuable asset. Watching the marketplace for knock-offs and other acts of piracy must be done by someone in or on behalf of the company.
If you have a fashion design related business, or are thinking of starting your own line of clothing, accessories, cosmetics, fragrances, textile designs, manufacturing, photographing, publishing fashion material, modeling businesses, or even starting your own retail business either online or in physical stores, The Replin Law Group, LLC is eager to help you develop, protect and grow your brand.