Fordham Law School Launches First-Ever Fashion Law Institute

Key Support Provided by Council of Fashion Designers of America

New York (April 23, 2010)— Fashion is among the largest contributors to the global economy and the second largest industry in New York City. Designers and fashion houses have always consulted lawyers about their trade; however, there has been no organized field of fashion law. Until now.

Fordham Law School announces the fall 2010 launch of the Fashion Law Institute, the world’s first fashion law center. Directed by Professor Susan Scafidi, the Fashion Law Institute will provide legal services for design students and designers, train the fashion lawyers and designers of the future, and offer information and assistance on issues facing the fashion industry. The Institute was created with the generous support and advice of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and its President Diane von Furstenberg.

“Fordham’s Fashion Law Institute will provide our students with a remarkable and unique opportunity to become the next leaders in this important, emerging field of law,” said Dean William Michael Treanor. “Professor Susan Scafidi is the nation’s leading expert in this exciting legal field, and we here at the Law School are very proud to have her establish this institute alongside our many other groundbreaking centers.”

CFDA Executive Director Steven Kolb views the Fashion Law Institute as a forum to address current challenges facing the fashion industry. “This timely initiative speaks to a need for new business strategies, including legal responses,” says Kolb. “We look forward to working with the Fashion Law Institute on a network of programs that will benefit both aspiring fashion lawyers and creative designers.”

Von Furstenberg adds, “I am impressed by the vision for this program and how it will bring new resources and assistance to American designers and our industry.”

In addition to the CFDA, the Fashion Law Institute will be supported by an advisory board including distinguished members of the fashion industry and the bar.

Professor Scafidi created the first U.S. law school course in the area of fashion law and is internationally recognized for her role in establishing the field. “Legal and social rules govern every industry and every aspect of human behavior,” observes Scafidi. “If humans are animals who accessorize, not to mention design highly original clothing and accessories, it’s only natural that we should develop a field of fashion law.”

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Fashion Law Institute: Professor Susan Scafidi, Fordham Law School

Fashion Publications: Souri Kim, KCD

Legal Publications: Melissa Mandel, Rubenstein Associates