Fordham Law


New York Fashion Week Spring 2013: Fashion Law Institute

Fashion Law Institute in The Emerging Designer, September 14, 2012

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The Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law celebrated the two year anniversary of their Pop-Up Law Clinic, a pro-bono service that pairs volunteer attorneys with emerging and independent designers by presenting the work of six labels that came from the program at Lincoln Center as part of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.


Vespertine, a made in New York contemporary safety wear line stood out. Each of Sarah Canner’s pieces are made with 3M Scotchlite reflective material to provide bicyclists and roadside adventurists with protection and style. Her vests, which come in a range of styles including embellished floral pins and a road hog ostrich material along with a trench that has illuminating piping and buttons brightened up the show. It also allowed others to see her focused and quite novel positioning in the marketplace.


Kelima K, with roots in bridal showed her first ready-to-wear collection which include several floral looks and a grandiose kimono while EMC2 Emmett McCarthy continued to build on his contemporary label with dresses and skirts that hit the right type of springtime notes. Rachel Dooley of Gemma Redux supplied designers with jewelry including Keely Rea, a swimwear line that presented classic bikinis and beachwear in various Indian-inspired prints that were wearable and whimsical.

And, like any event good legal initiative, designers provided their favorite tip from the program:


1. Plan your global trademark strategy! Prioritize the countries where you are based, manufacture, and sell. -EMC2 Emmett McCarthy


2. Draft agreements in plain language so everyone can understand what they are signing and there are no misinterpretations at the beginning of a partnership. -Gemma Redux


3. Make sure to copyright whenever possible, especially when dealing with fabric prints! -Keely Rea


4. Be sure to include legal fees in your budget. A good attorney’s advice can be a game changer, directing you towards a far more positive outcome. -Kelima K


5. If you think you might use it, trademark it. Before someone else does. -Vespertine

6. It’s always great to have one or two sharp attorneys on hand, but I’ve learned that while good contracts establish expectations and responsibilities, they never substitute for building trusting relationships. -Dimitry Saïd Chamy