Thursday, September 27, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Spotlights

Courtney Vines of CoCo Rae Cosmetics--

I love nail polish.  So when I came across CoCo Rae Cosmetics, I was excited to know more.  This brand is not only full of bold, yet meaningful colors, but has a passionate creator.  She's created a line on the quality level of the big names, leaving out harsh toxins to the environment, and offering long-lasting coats for the fashionista on the go.  I got the chance to chat with Courtney and could not wait to share the details with you all.

Check her out!

1.  How did you come up with the name "CoCo Rae"?
I came up with the name Coco Rae by using my nickname "Coco" and a part of my daughter's middle name "Rae'Anna" I put the 2 names together and "whalah!" There you have it Coco Rae!  I wanted to have something that my daughter and I could have together.

2.  What made you want to create a beauty brand?
Well, there are so many things I want to do in life that I had to narrow it down to a few things to get started on my dreams. My head rushes with new ideas all the time, but I had to come to a more focused decision so that I can build one brand, and then hopefully I can branch off into all business ventures. It came down to either starting my own baby clothing line, inspired by my little girl, or start a beauty brand. I chose to start with the beauty brand/nail polish because I love nail polish and thought it would be great to have my own cosmetics company. I can start with one brand, and my goal is to expand the Coco Rae brand into a full cosmetics company.

3.  What does your brand entail other than nail polish?
As of now the focus is on the nail polish and trying to find the right nail care products to sell with the polishes.

4.  What inspires the names you use for your colors?
Well, a lot of things inspire me when I think of the names for the colors. Sometimes I can be driving and listen to a song and hear a phrase I love and I quickly say " Oh, let me put that name/phrase in my Notepad on my iPhone" lol. Usually I look at the color and try to think "What does this color remind me of?". Some colors are family members' names that inspire me the most. 
Examples: "Love Nessa" - (the great salmon reddish polish) was named after my deceased mother, Vanessa who passed away in 2009 from Breast Cancer. 
"Naked J" - (my fav nude) was named after my best friend Jerica who loves to where nude or black shades of color.
"Nahla Bahla" - (bright raspberry) my daughter's name is Nahla and that's one of the nicknames everyone calls her. Also she loves that color and picked that one for her polish.

5.  What sets your brand apart from the others?
I think what sets my brand apart is that I am a newcomer to the industry and actually in the age group where I know what the "people" or "girls" want. I love to learn new things from the little fan base that I have, and love to hear there suggestions on what colors to do next, or what should I do next. I'm a little company trying to swim with the big fishes in the industry but I feel that if I work hard and build my brand WITH my fans, family, and friends, then maybe I will become a huge brand like some of the other great cosmetic brands already out there.

6.  What else is going on in your life in addition to Coco Rae?
Well, let see. I'm 22 years old and most of my time is spent raising my  3 1/2 year old daughter Nahla. I have a job and I attend school studying as a Business Administration student at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. I also want to major in Fashion Merchandising since I love fashion. I know I have a lot on my plate but ultimately my main focus is Nahla, and watching her grow. That's the best thing. I love to spend time with her and my family when Im not doing business with Coco Rae.

7.  What are some of the tools you use to build brand recognition?
Some of my tools since I'm building this brand on my own is mainly interacting with people. I research the beauty bloggers all over and reach out to them about me and my brand, and usually everyone wants to jump in help. That is why I absolutely LOVE bloggers!!!! They are like my marketing machines! I used the social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to get people to notice my company. I like to talk to people when they "tweet" me on Twitter or they send me a "like" on Facebook.  I also think that because I go to a university that I can reach thousands of students with the same interests as me. So my main way of building my brand is getting straight to the consumers.

8.  Have you encountered any legal issues with your brand?
No not so far.  *knock on wood*

9.  How do you protect your brand, legally and in the market generally?
Um, I have a LLC on my company.  I try to research things before I actually do them and I ask my lawyer if I feel like I don't understand something.

10.  What's next for CoCo Rae?
Well what's next for Coco Rae is the new "Fall in Love" Fall 2012 collection which debuted Sept 25th. There 5 new colors added to the lacquer family from "Forbidden Lust" which is a medium berry wine color to "E-lectrifying Love" which is a matte medium blue color. I also want to try out a couple of 3-piece sets for $25 each. I know some people don't like to buy polish online but YOU HAVE TO TRUST ME! These are all colors that I LOVE and WEAR all the time!  
Besides that, I want to try out some lipsticks and lip glosses, and add them to the Coco Rae brand. But, that's in the works so I'm hoping to have some by winter 2012 or early next year.

Aren't you excited to order?  I am.

Keep up with Coco on Twitter, Facebook, and on her site!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops

Top 6 Style Tips for the Workplace--

It is never a bad time to brush up on work-appropriate attire and professional style savvy.  Today we have some tips to keep at the top of mind when dressing for the office.  Just because it's work doesn't mean it has to be stuffy or boring!

1.  Remember, you're at work.
How you dress should be a reminder of how you should behave.  Look sharp.  Iron.  Smell nice, or like nothing at all--just not bad!  Noting you are not at the club or preparing to lay on the beach should keep you on the straight and narrow for your day-to-day as a professional, whatever the job.  

2.  Take notes from others and take it up a level.
If you aren't sure exactly how you should be dressing, and this can happen, look around you and see what your coworkers are wearing.  Take a tip from their attire and put your own twist on it--within limits, of course.  If you are in a laid back setting, jeans might be appropriate.  However, jeans come in all styles, and surely your distresses ones are not appropriate for a business casual setting.  If your office is one where suits are appropriate, have fun with the "business uniform".  Ladies, mix things up with jewelry.  Guys, there are more dress shirt colors than white.  No, really, there are.  Good ties are a must, too.  People are watching.

3.  Consider your role and where you want to go.
The role you play in your workplace also determines how you should appear.  Obviously primary school teachers have a particular leeway, as art projects and snack time can get messy.  However, those sitting in an office or cube setting should have a different mindset.  You should definitely consider the nature of your work and how you want to come across to your peers.  Business suits can be a bit stuffy, and strict company uniforms (sales jobs, for example) can be constraining, too.  But, you can still find ways to put your own spin on things within boundaries, of course.  

4.  Plan your day.
Daytime...Nighttime!  If you have somewhere to go after work, with no time to change in between, consider what looks appropriate at the desk, as well as the social scene.  In the summer, it's easy; dress with a blazer, to be removed later/button-up and slacks with a jacket for guys.  When it's a bit cooler, you can still do the same, or even use a sleeveless top with pants or a skirt.  Sorry, guys, we know you have a few less options.

5.  Grooming is everything.
More than just clothes.  You've got to check your hair, face, any visible skin.  Be sure you are moisturized where you need to be and coiffed in all the right places.  Gents, make sure those hairlines are neat!

6.  Keep the "No-No's" in mind...and avoid them!
We'll just share a few automatic no-nos to simmer on.  Unfortunately, there are more, but here's a start.  Avoid them at all cost!
-Dry feet
-Omitting deodorant
-Neglecting to iron.  Never look like your clothes just came out of a sandwich bag
-Clothes with holes
-Mixing weekend evening-wear with office attire
-White sock, black shoes, high-water know we hate this one!  It's for performing the Moonwalk in front of a sold-out crowd only!

Always dress to impress...even if it's just yourself!

For more styles we suggest, check out our Looks We Like

Monday, September 24, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Fashion Law

CLE with the Beverly Hills Bar Association--

Plan now for this October 11th Seminar:

MCLE CREDIT:  This activity has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of 1.5 HOURS and the Beverly Hills Bar Association certifies that this activity conforms to the standards for approved prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing minimum continuing legal education.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Promotes

iGlow Mentoring's Pink Pearls & Pretty Dresses - Girls Empowerment Breakfast

With Special Guest, 2-Time Olympic Gold Medalist, Gabrielle Douglas!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Get your tickets now for this powerful event for mothers and daughters.  Follow iGlow Mentoring on Twitter for event updates.

This is sure to be a good time for young ladies and their moms. 

*Special acknowledgement to Official Anais PR for amazing PR work on this event!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops

Top 5 College Majors with the Highest Starting Salaries

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) recently published information, which is certain to prove helpful for students entering college, deciding majors to pursue, or anyone considering where to take their career.  These options are also great starts for networking and advanced degrees in the fields.

The info below is just a glimpse to get you started, so please check out the links and get more details to help you out.

Best of luck!

1. Engineering
Highest-paying academic major: Computer engineering
Median starting salary: $67,800

2. Business
Highest-paying academic major: Economics (business/managerial)
Median starting salary: $54,800

3. Sciences
Highest-paying academic major: Construction science/management
Median starting salary: $54,700

4. Health sciences
Highest-paying academic major: Nursing
Median starting salary: $48,400

5. Communications
Highest-paying academic major: Advertising
Median starting salary: $44,700

For more details and occupations, check out the Chicago Tribune and NACE.  

This information is from the NACE April 2012 Salary Survey. It only includes certain starting salaries available at the time the survey was conducted.  Not all majors were factored into the starting salary comparisons.

Monday, September 17, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Fashion Law

The Ladies of Fashion Law!

Fashion law is a growing niche in the legal industry and nothing short of fun and exciting.  In addition to the fun and excitement, this niche has some serious issues, landmark cases, and is making its stiletto print on Capitol Hill. 

Fashion law is supported by so many, and we found it important to shed light on our colleagues also making the business their passion.  We’ve noted the gents, now for the ladies.  Although this list is by no means  all-inclusive, we were grateful enough to get some major contributors.  We have some names and faces you should know when it comes to legal matters in the fashion industry. 

Here they are in their own words.  See how major they are!

The Trailblazer
Susan Scafidi is the first professor ever to offer a course in Fashion Law.  She founded and directs the Fashion Law Institute, an independent nonprofit based at Fordham Law School and the world's first center dedicated to legal and business issues involving the fashion industry, and she is internationally recognized for her expertise and her leadership in establishing the field. Professor Scafidi has testified regarding the proposed extension of U.S. legal protection to fashion designs and continues to work actively with members of Congress and the fashion industry on the proposed Innovative Design Protection Act and other issues. 

Prior to establishing the Fashion Law Institute with the assistance of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and its president, Diane von Furstenberg, Professor Scafidi was a tenured member of both the law and history faculties at SMU and also taught at a number of other law schools, including Yale and Georgetown. After attending Duke University and the Yale Law School, she pursued graduate study in legal history at Berkeley and the University of Chicago and clerked for Judge Morris S. Arnold of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Professor Scafidi is the author of the book Who Owns Culture?Appropriation and Authenticity in American Law, as well as numerous articles in the areas of intellectual property, cultural property, and of course fashion law. She also established the first website on fashion law, Counterfeit Chic, which played a seminal role in defining the field and has been recognized as one of the ABA's top 100 legal blogs.

Susan says "For over 10 years, I've kept a file on the clothing/textile industry in my office and the latest Vogue hidden in my briefcase – not exactly standard reading in a profession dominated by academic tweeds and legal pinstripes.  Despite my interest in creativity beyond the usual margins of intellectual property protection, fashion seemed a little too cutting-edge for the ivory tower.  Now, with a multimillion dollar counterfeits crisis and the new challenge of fast fashion, it’s time to come out of the closet!"

Why I love Fashion Law:  When I set out to define a field of "fashion law" -- despite great skepticism -- it was with the goal of sharing information on legal and business issues with the industry and training a community of lawyers to serve fashion clients.  Whether it's hearing from an attorney in Shanghai, Sao Paulo, Sydney, or Chicago who's inspired by our work, learning about another law student who's starting a blog, or recruiting a volunteer to help a creative emerging designer, I love the feeling that together we're changing the world, one well-tailored piece of advice at a time. 

Keeping the Niche Going
Washingtonian, intellectual property attorney and writer, Mariessa Terrell, is the founder of SBC Law Group, a boutique brand management and intellectual property law firm located in Washington, DC. Through her firm, Mariessa provides docketing, marketing, licensing and intellectual property law (trademark, copyright) services to a variety of clients including Lockheed Martin Corporation; Gloria Gelfand Fashion Marketing Company; Soapy Love cosmetics and other creatives throughout the US and abroad.
In 2011 Mariessa launched an interactive website to provide discounted IP legal services to emerging fashion designers, artists and beauty professionals.  In 2000, Prior to starting her own firm, Ms. Terrell worked at the US Patent and Trademark Office as a Trademark Examining Attorney and helped register trademarks for the leaders in the fashion and beauty industries, including Estee Lauder, Balenciaga, Revlon, Dooney & Burke, Johnson and Johnson and many others.

In 2012, Mariessa founded the Fashion Law and Policy Center, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide fashion law education and research services to creatives, attorneys, and law students.

An expert in the field of marketing and intellectual property, Mariessa has lectured on branding and trademark law at Howard University, the Arts Institute of Washington, DC and the Smithsonian Institute; has taught a MBA graduate studies Advanced Marketing Management course at Southeastern University; and currently teaches Fashion Trend Forecasting at the Community College of the District of Columbia.

In April 2007, Mariessa drafted legislation (Bill 17-173) to create a Commission on Fashion Arts and Events in DC. Mayor Adrian Fenty signed the bill into law in April 2008. Mariessa is a graduate of Howard University School of Law and writes a fashion law and lifestyle blog entitled, Yoo Hoo Darling.

Why I love Fashion Law:  I love fashion law because it combines two of my favorite pursuits; unique fashion and legal principles that protect creativity.  I define fashion as innovation in any arena.  Fashion is not only a perfectly tailored Givenchy frock but it is the sleek functionality of the latest mobile device, the lightness of a apricot soufflĂ© and the colored soles of a five inch stiletto.   

It wasn’t until my last semester of my third year of law school that I actually fell in love with the law.  It took a course that combined marketing, branding strategies and legal analysis to inspire me to pursue a career in soft IP.  After graduating from Howard Law, I went on to work in Law Office 106 of the US Patent and Trademark Office.  There I reviewed trademark applications for leaders in the fashion industry, including, Revlon, Dooney and Bourke, and Chanel. 

To me there is nothing better than helping an emerging designer protect their creativity from the beginning.  Innovation is what becomes of our imagination when combined with a few rules.  I enjoy helping to clarify and demystify the rules of (fashion) law.

Kenya Wiley is an attorney and entrepreneur with more than 15 years of combined experience in government, law, politics and fashion design. Ms. Wiley is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Fashion Cloture, a blog portal connecting the fashion industry with Washington policy and politics. Since the launch of Fashion Cloture in January 2011, Ms. Wiley has worked with fashion executives in New York and Washington, DC on intellectual property, manufacturing, small business, and other public policy issues impacting the business of fashion. Ms. Wiley has also served as a panelist expert for Fashion Law Week DC and Howard University’s IP law seminar on copyright protection for fashion design.

Ms. Wiley received a B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center. Ms. Wiley is also the recipient of the Howard University School of Law 2012 Intelligent Design Award.

Why I love Fashion Law: My love for fashion law can be summed up in two words - "passion" and "people".  Through my work in fashion law, I have had an opportunity to not only combine my love for fashion and politics; but I have also been able to meet and work with an amazing group of designers, professors, and other fashion law attorneys.  

Photo courtesy of, J R BERNSTEIN MEDIA INC.,
Ashlee Froese is a lawyer and trade-mark agent at Gilbert’s LLP whose practice encompasses trade-marks, branding, social media and domain name laws. Ashlee brings a breadth of experience assisting a wide variety of clients in a multitude of industries with respect to managing and protecting their brands both domestically and internationally.  As a board member of the Fashion Group International, Ashlee has a keen interest in assisting fashion designers protect their creative ingenuity and maintains the website Canada Fashion Law. She is an active member of the intellectual property law community, participating as an Executive Member of the Toronto Intellectual Property Group and as a member of several committees with the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada and the International Trademarks Association.  Ashlee is a frequent guest lecturer at colleges, universities, and trade associations on brand protection.

Why I love Fashion Law: First and foremost, I strongly believe that if you are able to combine your hobby with your career, your job becomes a delight.  I’ve always had an affinity for fashion and my move toward fashion law has been an evolution.  My scope of practice is trade-marks, copyright and social media laws – basically I help protect and enforce companies’ brands.  Over the past couple of years I have immersed myself into Canada’s fashion industry and have a greater understanding of the nuances of the business and also the challenges that face fashion designers.  I have a great amount of respect for fashion designers and I made a conscious decision to shape my practice to be able to assist them create successful businesses.  Fashion law is more developed niche in America than it is here in Canada.  To a certain extent, the fundamentals of trade-mark law are applicable to every industry. The law is the law, irrespective of the industry. However, there are certain nuances within each industry that may change your application of the law to the business or alter ever present “business considerations” that govern clients’ decision-making.  As a lawyer, understanding those nuances can be of great assistance to your client.  I hope to bring these insights to the fashion industry. Such specialization is not uncommon in the intellectual property field.  For example, you oftentimes come across patent lawyers that focus on the pharmaceutical industry.  I believe this can be applied to the fashion industry

Barbara Kolsun is Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Stuart Weitzman, LLC, a luxury shoe design, manufacturing and retail company based in New York.  She started the company’s first in-house legal department and manages all legal matters for the company, including intellectual property.  Prior to Stuart Weitzman, Ms. Kolsun served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Seven For All Mankind, LLC, a leading denim and apparel company, and of Kate Spade, LLC, the upscale handbag and lifestyle design house. She was Assistant General Counsel of WestPoint Stevens, Inc., the home textile company, and of Calvin Klein Jeanswear Co.  Prior to her time working in-house, she practiced litigation for 12 years at various New York law firms, representing numerous intellectual property owners throughout the United States.  She also clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

Ms. Kolsun co-conceived, co-edited, and co-authored with FIT professor Guillermo Jimenez “Fashion Law – A Guide for Designers, Fashion Executives, and Attorneys” (Fairchild Books), the first textbook on Fashion Law. Ms. Kolsun has devoted significant time and effort to the cause of enforcement of intellectual property, serving as Chairman of the Board of the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC).  She has also spoken and published widely on the topic of counterfeiting and trademark infringement in the United States, Asia, and Europe, and has been herself the subject of stories in numerous publications (ranging from The New York Times to Women’s Wear Daily) due to her pioneering work in the anticounterfeiting field.

Ms. Kolsun is an Adjunct Professor of Fashion Law at New York University and Benjamin N. Cardozo Schools of Law and was an Adjunct Professor at Fordham Law School from 1986-88 and 2011. She has guest taught and lectured at law schools and business schools around the country, including the University of Chicago Law School.  In 2002 and 2004, Ms. Kolsun was a consultant on intellectual property in Vietnam as part of STAR-Vietnam, a USAID program. 

She received her J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 1982 and her undergraduate degree from Sarah Lawrence College in 1971.  Her experience as a professional singer and actress (1970-1979) continues to motivate her fierce efforts to protect artists’ and designers’ intellectual property rights.

Why I love Fashion LawIt is a trillion dollar industry globally.  The issues are diverse and always evolving.  I love working with creative people and my boss Stuart Weitzman is not only a talented and brilliant shoemaker, but the smartest person I have ever worked for.

 Fashion Blawger is a 20-something West Coaster who recently graduated from a top ten U.S. law school. This upcoming school year I will be studying intellectual property in France. I have been an anonymous blogger since summer 2011 (2L summer). My interest in fashion law is the main reason I started blogging; my law school friends did not share my love of fashion law and I wanted to connect to a community of people who do so I initially turned to the internet. I now have learned how to spark my friends’ interests in fashion law by just drawing from their interests. I love showing people how fashion law touches on their own legal interests whether their legal passions lie in human rights, labor, or real estate law.

Through clinic work while I was in law school, I helped new start-ups get incorporated and counseled them on how to promote their businesses while protecting their intellectual property and I find this type of work both stimulating and relaxing.  The prospect of litigating fashion law in a courtroom is amazing to me.

Why I love Fashion Law: With trademarks, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets all around us I feel motivated to go into the IP field. I particularly love fashion and as an artist myself, I like the idea of protecting things like trademarks and designs because it is protecting the rights of artists. Protecting intellectual property motivates businesses to build a good reputation. To build that reputation those businesses will strive to make the consumer a happier one, so everyone is a winner.

Patricia Adams-Haywood is a Barrister and Solicitor who has worked on four continents. She has experience working in common law and civil law jurisdictions. As a fashion lawyer she guides fashion designers and other  players in the fashion industry in Asia. When not working, she enjoys diving and snorkelling. Patricia lives in Indonesia with her husband, who is also a lawyer. 

Why I love Fashion Law:  I am happy to be apart of this new and exciting niche. I have been blessed to work with some of the most creative people. The number of lawyers practising fashion law is small compared to other areas of specialisation. I therefore feel like I am apart of a family, all helping to build each other up. Just check out Twitter and see how supportive of each other we are.

I also love working with creative people. Having worked in corporate/commercial law firms and international organisations, I can safely say that the clients I had then and now are very different.  I find that everyday I am inspired to try something new and I have a new outlook on life. 

Lastly, I am able to use my years of experience and legal expertise in this niche. I don't think many people appreciate the complexity of fashion law, but fashion law requires an all rounder; someone who appreciates numerous legal concepts and topics. My experience for example in international trade, tax, employment, banking, and general corporate law comes in very handy. 

I knew I made the right decision to enter this niche, when waking up in the morning to go to work no longer felt like a chore. 

With a passion for law and fashion, extensive experience as a trial lawyer litigating a wide variety of issues in both civil and criminal law; and almost two decades of first hand knowledge and experiences that are as diverse as they are deep in the fashion and entertainment industries (modeling, fashion retail, fashion production, public relations, journalism, and publishing), Uduak Oduok is an attorney who “gets it” when it comes to resolving legal issues for the fashion and entertainment industries.

She has counseled a range of clients from musicians, models, actors and actresses to designers on numerous areas of the law including contracts, business law, fashion and entertainment law, copyright, trademark and intellectual property law.

Uduak earned her B.A. in Speech Communications, with honors, from San Jose State University, with a minor in philosophy. She attended both Georgetown and UC Hastings School of law, obtaining her Juris Doctorate in 2001 from UC Hastings College of the Law.

She is also the founder and publisher of Ladybrille Magazine, the first ever publication focused on bringing African fashion and entertainment to the Western masses, Ladybrille. In 2008, her effort was recognized with a feature in the prestigious American Bar Journal. In 2010 Uduak was nominated for the Africa Fashion International Africa Fashion Awards for her, “Outstanding Contribution to Fashion Communications.” This 2012 Uduak has been nominated as 'Media Personality of the Year' at the 7th Annual Nigeria Entertainment Awards to be held Aug 31-Sept 2 in New York.

Why I love Fashion Law:  It is hard for me to put it in words. I am passionate about fashion because I think it is something innate in me just as much as law is. I have been told my maternal grandfather was a tailor in addition to his role as an educator and a choir master. So that may be where it comes from?

Officially in terms of my love for fashion, I began modeling at 15 and became hooked. Ever since, I live, breathe and eat fashion. (Laughs) I love fashion and I never get tired of talking fashion within and outside the industry. 

In fashion, it's all about the fit.  Attorney Shara Danielle Harris has the experience, innovation and creativity to create a perfect fit with your business.

For the past nine years, Attorney Harris has specialized in the area of real estate law working with high net worth individuals, REITS, syndicates, and investors. Her passion has always been in the area of fashion working with fashion designers, models, manufacturers, retailers, importers, exporters, and entertainers. Her background as a business advisor, real estate professional and former fashion industry executive adds immediate value to her clients because she has been in their shoes and understands their businesses. She is where fashion meets law.

Attorney Harris has successfully closed over 2,000 business and real estate transactions in nine years of practice. She is a regular contributor to the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Journal and is an active member of the Forum on Entertainment & Sports Industries.

Attorney Harris holds a Juris Doctor degree from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois with a concentration on international business and real estate; and, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business & Entertainment Management from Columbia College Chicago in Chicago, Illinois.

Her motto is "Don’t dream it. Live it.”

Why I love Fashion Law: I couldn't imagine a life without some connection to fashion. Every since I was as child, I've been intrigued by the way that fashion makes you feel…empowered and beautiful.  From modeling, to teaching modeling, to producing fashion shows, to retail sales, management, visual merchandising and buying…I can truly say that I have a well-rounded perspective of the business.  While fashion law is not my sole area of practice, I must say it is the most fun.  To be able to marry my passion with so many areas of law such as real estate, business, intellectual property, international business, advertising and employment…I couldn't ask for a better career! I am so excited to see this area of practice develop to serve such an exciting industry.

Maria Daatio is fairly a newcomer in the legal world, recently graduating from Southwestern Law School in the fashion law capital of the west coast, Los Angeles. Not only is fashion law the perfect intersection of her top five passions in life – branding, apparel, business, intellectual property, and law – but what she loves most about this practice area are the varied and multiple ways one can carve a path to becoming what pop culture is coming to know as a fashion law attorney. As such, she has been forging her own way, keeping in mind what she and others should know about the business of fashion and how to get there. Fordham’s Fashion Law Institute and the strong headway big industry players have already made in this practice area have truly inspired her.  She is currently collaborating with other lawyers in the west coast to create a practical skills course program tailored for fashion law in one of the top entertainment law schools in the nation.

Why I love Fashion Law: She believes that fashion law is a booming niche and that this specialization in the law practice will very soon become as big as entertainment law has become throughout the years.

Stephanie Figueroa, Esq. is native New Yorker whose academic interest in intellectual property law and personal passion for style, fashion, and all things creative led her to write about the legal elements that impact the fashion industry on and share fashion law news on Twitter (@Inalegalfashion).
Stephanie is admitted to practice law in the state of New York. She earned her JD from New York Law School, where she was a Research Fellow with the Institute for Information Law & Policy and helped create New York Law School's first student run fashion law blog, Stephanie earned her B.A. in Political Science from Binghamton University.

Why I love Fashion Law: I love fashion law because it builds upon the fundamentals of Intellectual Property law to answer questions about the bags I buy and the shoes I fawn over. How we chose to dress ourselves speaks volumes about our personalities and professions, but it is also the living, breathing result of companies engaging in litigation to make sure their brand reputations are what we want to buy into. I see it whenever I go shopping.  As I search for high end looks on a smaller budget, I can't help but notice knock-offs, trademark infringement and potential design patent copies everywhere I look.  Being able to identify the legal issues in my shopping cart is more satisfying than the sale itself.  Moreover, knowing how companies protect their intellectual property helps me give advice to up and coming designers and artists when they're trying to get themselves on the consumer radar.

...And me! Victoria Watkins is a legislative attorney for the City of Chicago, specializing in state government issues.  While spending time protecting the interests of the city she loves, Victoria makes certain to stay up on all things legislative, and all things fashion law.  She is totally invigorated by this growing niche, and couldn't be more excited it's here.  After being less than impressed with 1L courses, her introduction to property, and intellectual property gave her a new outlook on where this J.D. could take her.  She created B.A.F.F.L.E.D. shortly after being admitted to the Illinois Bar, as a way to ensure her place in fashion law and channel her passions not used 9 to 5.  These days, she splits her time between legislative law, fashion law, and sharing her love of Chicago with anyone who will listen.  

Victoria is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with a Bachelors in Consumer Economics & Finance, and earned her J.D. at DePaul University College of Law.

Why I love Fashion Law: Fashion law has been a breath of fresh air for me.  I realized 2 of the things I love most, law and fashion, are more connected than I ever knew.  I also find this industry warm and welcoming, especially as we all continue to work together to solidify its place in the profession.  Fashion law is more than just a blog topic, it's part of what keeps me motivated as a lawyer.  I enjoy teaching others about it and opening their eyes to something new and fun.  I can't wait to see how fashion law continues to flourish and do my part to help.  

The Fashion Law Students
Julie Zerbo is a third year law student and the editor-in-chief of The Fashion Law.  Her work has been featured in New York Magazine, the Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and Vogue UK, among other publications. She has worked extensively on behalf of the Council of Fashion Designers of America in lobbying for the passage of the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act. She was recently profiled by the Wall Street Journal.  

Why I love Fashion Law: I really appreciate the opportunities fashion law has given me to assist emerging designers in building and protecting their brands, as well as being able to have a real effect on whether certain knockoffs are sold or not. In addition to law, I have an economics and international business background and so, first and foremost, I identify with and love these things. For me, the fashion aspect is just an added bonus.

Virdina M. Gibbs  is the creator of The Sole PurseSuit: A Capsule Collection Between Fashion and the Law.   She attended undergraduate at Duke University and majored in History and minored in French and Political Science.  While in undergrad Virdina served on the Presidential Committee on Black Affairs where she was selected to represent the interests of the approximately 600 member Black community at Duke to top-level administrators.

After undergrad, Virdina worked at a patent law firm as a Design Patent Prosecution Specialist for two years where she coordinated design patent filings for multi-national corporations.  She coordinated filing efforts in Europe where she was able to use her French fluency skills.  In law school Virdina has interned with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in their Office of External Affairs and was also a Student Attorney with PTO Law School Clinical Program.  She has also worked with a leading trademark attorney and written replies to Office Actions from the PTO.  Virdina also serves as a co-chair of Fashion Law Week, the first and only nationwide fashion law week.
Virdina hopes to practice intellectual property law after she graduates from law school.

Why I love Fashion LawFashion law allows me to coalesce my love of fashion with my love of intellectual property.  Despite the stereotype that people, especially lawyers,  who enjoy fashion are vapid and shallow, fashion law is a unique niche within IP law that is vitally important due to the rapid globalization of the fashion industry.  I love helping individuals figure out how to best protect their present and future assets.
Hailing from Las Vegas, Nevada by way of Dayton Ohio, Whitney McGuire, the daughter of a jazz singer, found her creative niche early in life.  Since then, she has strutted through the musings, short-comings and beauty of life with grace and style.  Fashion is less of a hobby and more of a lifestyle for Whitney. She believes in being one hundred percent comfortable with who one is and with how one chooses to portray themselves externally. From studying the law of fashion to providing personal styling and interior decorating consulting to the public, she has acted upon this belief and in turn, she has gained an altruistic outlook on fashion.  She also has a passion for helping others and knew that her advocacy skills would be enhanced in law school, hence her decision to become an attorney.  She is currently a third year law student at The Catholic University of America – Columbus School of Law.  A law student by day and a stylist by night, Whitney has devoted her “free” time to blogging about her first love: fashion and her second love: the law.  The two combine quite nicely with the advent of  “Fashion Law.”  

Why I love Fashion Law:  Short answer: Fashion Law saved me.  I know that sounds a bit dramatic, but for all intents and purposes of conveying how passionate I am about this field, drama will suffice.   
Long Answer: My love for Fashion Law was born out of hatred – for law school.  After struggling for 2 years to get into law school, I knew it was something to appreciate, which presently, I definitely do, I just don’t love it.  Fashion Law was a beacon of hope (dramatic, I know) that lit my journey down a once dark, uncertain path.  Fashion Law allowed me to appreciate the equally dominant creative aspect of my personality, while simultaneously satisfying my insatiable Type-A nerdy appetite.  It gave me a foundation upon which to proudly marry my two passions: fashion and advocacy/law.  As an emerging field that has gained significant headway over the past four to five years, my proclamations that I was pursuing Fashion Law were often met with confused gazes and blank stares.  “What is Fashion Law?” Initially, my responses, were an oil and water combination of excitement and embarrassment.  In the blue suit, white shirt, red tie legal field, a Vintage Dior turban wearing, black girl may not fit the traditional “lawyer” image. I felt judged and categorized as someone who was not very serious about the law. “Oh, it’s just Intellectual Property,” I’d reply to add more legal “umph” to my perceived frivolous career path.  Now, months later and many Fashion Law credits under my belt, I confidently answer: “Fashion is an industry. There are laws that control it. That’s Fashion Law.” This is an example of why I love this field.  I have grown into a more secure version of myself.  I love knowing that the concepts I learn in class can easily be applied to an aspect of the Fashion Industry.  I also love the fact that all of the experiences I’ve gained during my somewhat crooked path to law school have and will continue to contribute to my prospective success as a fashion lawyer.  Two words became the key, which unlocked an unlimited amount of possibilities, all of which are sartorially splendid!  I look forward to seeing what I make of it and hope to continue to inspire others to follow their dreams…even in law school. 
Shana Scott is a second year law student at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.  She is a current Health Law Fellow in the Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy and passionate about all areas fashion, science, and law.  She has an undergraduate degree in Biology from Morgan State University and a Masters Degree in Public Health from Armstrong Atlantic State University. Before entering law school, she worked as a Policy Consultant for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA.

Why I love Fashion Law:  Shana's style is forever changing and growing.  I wear what I feel comfortable in and what looks good on me.  I enjoy clothes and I enjoy looking good.  As a law student I am still learning about the various areas of law and how to "break-into" fashion.  I am not yet an expert on fashion law, fashion, or even law for that matter but I know a good look when I see it.  I am new to the law of fashion but I am a firm believer in the Coco Chanel quote, "fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening".

We would be remiss if we didn’t include honorable mentions of these equally busy legal fashionistas:

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