5th annual Fashion Law Institute symposium

Join us for a power-packed day at the Fashion Law Institute’s 5th annual symposium — the highlight of the fashion law calendar and your opportunity to stay on the cutting edge of the law and business of fashion!

Friday, April 17, 2015, 9am – 6:30pm

NEW Fordham Law building, 150 W. 62nd Street

NYS CLE credit (attorneys): 7.0 hours professional practice, transitional & non-transitional

In addition to an exclusive show by fashion tech innovators CuteCircuit, recharge your focus on fashion law with panels including

  • 9:00am Boot Up!
  • 9:15-10:15am Purchasing Power: Mergers & Acquisitions and Fashion Investment
  • Fashion is a trillion-dollar industry. While less enlightened minds may still dismiss fashion as frivolous, a large and growing number of investors perceive an opportunity – though not all of them have the same level of knowledge about how to succeed in the business of fashion. Revisiting the subject of the first panel of the inaugural Fashion Law Institute symposium, how has the market for fashion houses changed in half a decade? What are the factors to consider in acquiring or investing in a fashion company? And from the perspective of a designer or an independent label, what are the pros and cons of working with an investor, how do you identify the right suitor, and when is the timing right?
  • 10:30-11:30am Pulling the Plug: Fashion Companies, Dissolution, & Bankruptcy
  • In fashion, one day you’re in, and the next day you’re out – of business, that is. As part of a seasonal industry based upon continual change rather than stable inventories, even fashion companies with significant editorial presence can struggle to achieve or maintain financial success. We’ve recently seen C. Wonder shut its green doors, Gap announce the closure of its Piperlime division, Kate Spade terminate Kate Spade Saturday, and Reed Krakoff suspend operations.  Even leading luxury retailer Barneys appeared headed for bankruptcy a few years ago, after actually filing in the 1990s. What are the strategic decisions involved when a fashion company considers bankruptcy? How can a fashion house or retailer keep the lights on during reorganization? And does outside investors’ growing involvement with the fashion industry increase the likelihood that an unsuccessful season or two will lead to pulling the plug?
  • 11:45am-12:45pm Power Dressing: Politics, Dress Codes, and the Public Eye
  • “Who are you wearing?” “Did you see that outfit?!”  If you are a public figure, or indeed if you appear in public, your wardrobe will be scrutinized and criticized. Realizing that fashion is a means of communication, many politicians, celebrities, executives, and others in the public eye use their clothing to establish an image and convey a message. At the same time, media coverage of and public conversation about women’s appearances in particular has become controversial, inspiring campaigns like #AskHerMore and backlash against gender-specific dress codes. How does commentary about clothing affect the wearer, and should it be off limits?  What constitutes power dressing in an era when hemlines no longer rise and fall by fiat?  And when organizations contemplate dress codes, how do they stay on the right side of both public opinion and the law?
  • 12:45-2pm Power Lunch
  • 2-3pm Power Centers: Battling Across Jurisdictions in World War IP
  • Fashion brands are fighting World War IP – with local weapons. While over a century of efforts to standardize intellectual property protection in countries around the world has yielded some degree of formal harmonization, the reality is that rights holders making the same claims against the same or similar defendants often get different results in different jurisdictions. Whether it’s Gucci winning many of its claims against Guess in the U.S. but losing on home territory in Italy, the Chinese government’s adverse administrative action against Burberry’s widely protected signature tartan, or Christian Louboutin’s country-by-country campaign to save his sole from copyists, even trademark law remains unpredictable. At the same time, any consumer with an internet connection can shop the aisles of the global marketplace with ease. How do fashion companies and their counsel view this power struggle, and what strategic maneuvers are most effective?
  • 3:15-4:15pm Connectivity: Modeling and the Power of Social Media
  • Models are walking beyond the runway and out of the pages of magazines – and into your social media feeds. Today’s top models are at the top of their social media game, and some are even scouted directly from these platforms. How have modeling agencies adapted their contracts and altered their lineups in light of these changes? How will FTC regulations affect models who advertise products through their social media accounts?  And how can models, agents, and attorneys work together to balance the competing challenges of legal compliance and furtherance of models’ careers through the ever-evolving world of social media?
  • 4:30-5:30pm The Power of 2: Licensing and Wearable Technology
  • Opposites attract – and fashion and technology are no exception. The fast-growing wearable tech sector has designs on your wrist and beyond, whether you’re a luxury consumer shopping for a Ralph Lauren Ricky Bag with Light and a rose gold Apple Watch to complement your CuteCircuit ensemble or an aspiring athlete looking for a simple plastic fitness monitor. Wearable technology, however, is not the product of one industry but two.Building on previous cutting-edge Fashion Law Institute panels that have addressed patents and data privacy in the context of wearables, the next key issue is how best to bring together two such different industries and their different legal cultures, especially in matters of  intellectual property protection. As the collaborations continue, what will lead some to succeed while others fail? Why do some tech companies choose to partner with traditional fashion houses or hire fashion industry talent?  What is the future of wearable tech – and will we see more impact on the function of fashion, the aesthetics of fashion, or both?  And if you’re venturing into a wearable tech licensing agreement or other partnership, what are the key considerations?
  • 5:30-6:30pm It’s Electric!  CuteCircuit Fashion Show 

Speakers include Ewa Abrams, Tiffany & Co.; Jeffrey Banks, Designer & Author; Laura McCabe Brandt, Brandt Law; Vince Castiglione, VF Corporation; Richard Cleland, FTC; James Conran, Artist & Business Manager; Melissa Wilhelmina Cooper, Wilhelmina Models; Roxanne Elings, Davis Wright Tremaine; Adam Clark Estes, Gizmodo; Vanessa Friedman, The New York Times; Chris Gay, Elite World Group; Caroline Gentile, Fordham Law School; Ryan Genz and Francesca Rosella, CuteCircuit; Doug Hand, Hand Baldachin & Amburgey; Carol Hochman, RHH Capital & Consulting; Rachel Larris, Women’s Media Center; Michelle Mancino Marsh, Kenyon & Kenyon; Lyn Paolo, Costume Designer; James Michael Peck, Morrison & Foerster; Monica Richman, Dentons; Coco Rocha, Supermodel & Social Media Pioneer; Donna Ruggiero, The Estée Lauder Companies; Rob Sanchez, Manufacture New York; Natasha Sardesai-Grant, Ralph Lauren; Susan Scafidi, Fashion Law Institute at Fordham; Stan Sherwood, Sherwood Associates; Jay Silverberg, FisherBroyles; Doreen Small, Marquart & Small; Wayne Sterling, The Image Management; Yolanda Wardowski, Avalon Securities; Brien Wassner, Jones Day; Gary Wassner, Hilldun Corporation and Interluxe Holdings. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Registration category
Attorneys $325
Attorneys who are Fashion Law Bootcamp alumni, Fashion Law Institute volunteers, or Fordham alumni $275
Fashion design professionals/ Non-Fordham students/Others (no CLE) $35
Media (with credentials)/ Fordham Law students  COMPLIMENTARY (with registration)

(Registration includes continental breakfast, lunch, concluding reception.)