8th Annual Symposium:
Fashion Influence

Influence is not just for Instagram. The fashion industry is forever focused on the future – but who and what will determine its direction? Our 8th annual symposium, the highlight of the fashion law calendar, brings together industry thought leaders to share their insights on the forces transforming the law and business of fashion.

TIME: 9am-6pm
PLACE: Fordham Law School, 150 W. 62nd Street
NYS CLE: 6.0 hours total (5.0 professional practice,
transitional & non-transitional, and 1.0 diversity, inclusion, and elimination of bias - new New York CLE requirement)


  • Kathryne Badura, Marcolin
  • Daniel Bellizio, Bellizio+Igel
  • Meryl Bernstein, Hogan Lovells
  • Mary Kate Brennan, Epstein Drangel
  • Jeff Carvalho, Highsnobiety
  • Stephanie Cegielski, International Council of Shopping Centers
  • Antoniette Costa, Humans of Fashion Foundation
  • Tara Donaldson, Sourcing Journal
  • Baptiste’ Ellard, Designer and Visual Artist
  • Craig Fleishman, Rebecca Minkoff
  • David French, National Retail Federation
  • Robin Gruber, Chanel
  • Aurora James, Brother Vellies
  • Hilary Jochmans, Jochmans Consulting
  • Lisa Keith, Steve Madden
  • Wendy Levene, Fenton Model Management
  • Ali Grace Marquart, Eisner Jaffe
  • Sigrid Neilson, Equinox
  • Denning Rodriguez, Holland Knight
  • Kristina Romanova, Humans of Fashion Foundation
  • Grace Sacro, NYC Commission on Human Rights
  • Lauren Sherman, Business of Fashion
  • Stan Sherwood, Sherwood Associates
  • Doreen Small, Eisner Jaffe
  • Professor Susan Scafidi, Fashion Law Institute at Fordham
  • Jeff Trexler, Attorney
  • Kenya Wiley, Fashion Innovation Alliance




Money Makes the World Go ‘Round

From personal packages to shipping pallets, fashion transactions take place every day under the watchful eye of government – which of course demands its due in the form of taxes, tariffs, and various forms of financial oversight. But what happens when a worldwide resurgence of populism, nationalism, and local autonomy appears poised to rewrite the rules? The U.S. Supreme Court’s pending examination of state taxes and internet sales, the growth of protectionist tariffs, VAT variations, and the breakdown of international agreements are just a few of the developments that lawyers, designers, and executives need to know in order to act locally and think globally.

Fashion TECHtonics

Was a fashion trend forecaster responsible for the election of Donald Trump? The stylish backstory of Cambridge Analytica’s controversial Facebook datamining is just one example of the possibilities and problems of fashion and technology. Is typical fashion industry use of customer information ethical and legal? What are the implications of the Zappos decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation? Are blockchain and smart contracts a cure-all for anti-counterfeiting efforts and supply chain monitoring? Will fashion initial coin offerings presage a financing revolution? This panel will help assess the long-term legal impact of recent concerns over data privacy, cybersecurity, digital algorithms, and artificial intelligence.


Refashioning Rights

Hashtags against harassment have filled the headlines for months following the accusations against former film and fashion executive Harvey Weinstein and other industry figures – and our October panel on the subject – but how will #MeToo and #TimesUp be codifed for future generations? Existing federal laws regarding sexual harassment can be traced to pathbreaking reform in New York City, and the current movement has brought renewed attention to the role of local governments, NGOs, and corporate codes as forces for legal innovation. Activists and fashion industry insiders reveal new analyses and innovative initiatives designed to address this vital issue.

Street Smart

From the Dapper Dan revival to the rise of Supreme and Kith and most recently LV’s hiring of Off-White founder Virgil Abloh, street style is fashion’s hottest category, with customers lining up for blocks in advance of the latest releases. This transition from street to elite has brought with it a series of legal and ethical issues, too many of which are catching lawyers and designers by surprise. What are the rules of the game for collaborating with long-established brands, influencers, or outsider artists? When does an homage cross the line into intellectual property infringement or cultural appropriation? Are counterfeiting and the resale market out of control? And what are the written (and unwritten) rules for managing street-style crowds on city sidewalks and actual streets? Join this panel to get the drop on law and street style.

Intellectual Property and the Court of Public Opinion

The rise of the internet compounded the problem of copying in fashion, but can social media succeed in protecting designers where intellectual property law has thus far failed? Are the power of Instagram ire and Twitter outrage independent forces or reliant on a backdrop of copyright, patent, and trademark law? Do online exchanges and petitions clarify or confuse complex issues like cultural appropriation or the unauthorized use of street art on clothing and in ad campaigns? Can both established labels and indie designers make use of social media in their brand protection strategies? How should companies address viral accusations of illicit copying? Intellectual property experts have historically focused on legislative, administrative, and judicial decisions, but today fashion professionals across the industry must increasingly consider the judgments of the court of public opinion.



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