Tuesday, November 17, 2015

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

Fashion Law Back On Capitol Hill--

Now this is fashion law!  Following many attempts (and surely more to come) to get protection for fashion designs, there is a new push for legislation in the fashion industry. U.S. Representative Grace Meng (D-New York) has filed the Child Performers Protection Act of 2015.  Never before have we seen child labor standards of this sort at the federal level.

Being a patchwork of regulations across the state for so many years, child labor regulations could now see national standards. Representative Meng's billl, H.R. 3383, amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, updating child labor standards for performers including actors and models. The legislation prohibits employers or contractors from: (1) employing any child performer unless a trust is set up to receive at least 15% of their earnings, (before accepting work) to be held inaccessible until they reach the age of 18; and (2) compensating a child performer in any form besides cash wages, exclusive of board, lodging, or facilities.   Accepting in-kind payment is great sometimes, but it should definitely be a mere bonus.  It'll never pay for college or be a base for financial security and good savings habits.  Anyone working should be compensated--no matter the age.  So many brands make more than enough to properly compensate their coveted talent.

As a legislative lawyer, I am excited to see this issue before the legislature.  It is a long time coming, even with the Council of Fashion Designers of America having offered guidelines on model treatment for sometime now.  Always an industry leader, CFDA has offered a strong health initiative, with self-imposed rules to bar models under 16 from runway shows, educate on eating disorders and empower positive body images, and offer fitness education as well. Designer and Boss role model Diane von Furstenberg has made her own pushes for fair and appropriate treatment of models, most recently during fashion week.  Surely this foundation will be helpful in passing H.R. 3383.  While few bills pass any legislature as they arrive, this bill takes a great step forward in parity and standardization in the fashion industry.  Protecting models and easing the labor challenges and disparities is a much-needed step forward.  

The bill has been assigned to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.  We'll be watching.



For more on labor issues in the fashion industry, check out these posts:

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Honors

Happy Birthday United States Marine Corps!

Brought to us in 1775, the United States Marine Corps celebrates 240 years of excellence.  The USMC is America's first line of defense in any battle, long-time protectors of the President, and United States Embassies in all other nations, the Marines have maintained their title as "The Few, The Proud".  According to their hymn, they even guard the streets of heaven.  



Latin for "always faithful," Semper Fidelis became the Marine Corps motto in 1883. It guides Marines to remain faithful to the mission at hand, to each other, to the Corps and to country, no matter what.


These distinguished service providers take their pledge and oath to protect our nation more than seriously.  Equipped with the toughest and most scrutinizing training of any armed force, this elite group produces fierce fighters and model citizens.





Thursday, November 5, 2015

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

Big Brands Keep Fighting Fakes--

Counterfeits are making waves in the fashion industry and it's nothing good.  In recent months, designers have had to step their protection game up in several ways, just to keep the infringers at bay.  As reported earlier this week, Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Celine and others have sought a slew of design patents to protect their creations.  


The lack of copyright protection in America makes protection a bit of a challenge.  Trade dress, trademark, and patents are heavily depended on, but take some time to secure.  Stella McCartney had to sue Steve Madden for infringement on her "Falabella" bag--a bag already holding 2 design patents for its continuous chain design.  Tory Burch also came up big recently in fighting for her "Isis Cross" trademark. She won $38.9M in a lawsuit against Lin & J to protect her trademark.  Despite claiming victory over YSL, Louboutin is still awaiting trademark validity from the EU.  This stems from their 2013 battle with Van Haren infringing on the red soles.  

While keeping us showered with designs for the new season, designers have to keep an eye on the counterfeit market.  According to NetNames, a London-based brand protection firm, counterfeiting is getting a consistent boost from e-commerce, channeling sales up about 15%.  Much of the items are sourced through China--nearly 70%.  The raw materials are there.  The factories are there. And, the labor is pretty inexpensive.  An NYC couple was was just charged with conspiring to traffic counterfeits after being caught with over 130,000 counterfeit items in their rented warehouse.  Many of the goods were said to have been sourced from China.  It's the largest source, but certainly not the only.   

Counterfeiting is about 2% of world trade--equating to about $1trillion, according to the International Chamber of Commerce.  Make no mistake, many purchasers of counterfeits were never going to purchase the real thing anyways.  But, some were, and got bamboozled.  Whether they were looking for the real thing or just something to pass at a quick glance, the harm done by fakes doesn't change.  There's a cost far greater than the black market price. 


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

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

Fashion Group International Chicago - Night of Stars!

*Get your tickets now!  This fab fashion event is next week, and you do not want to miss it.

FGI's Chicago Region stays busy making its mark in the Chic City.  This year, the big Night of Stars Gala will be no different.  A night at the Ritz Carlton will most certainly be one not to be missed.  Honorees for the evening include:


  • Stargazer Retail Award -- Neiman Marcus
  • Stargazer Oracle Award -- Ken Downing
  • Stargazer Platinum Award -- Badgley Mischka
  • Stargazer Humanitarian Award – Nina Mariano 
  • Stargazer Interior Design Award – Nate Berkus 
  • Stargazer Beauty Award -- Cle de Peau
  • Stargazer Jewelry Award -- Ippolita

Join us on Thursday, November 12.  Do not miss out.

Check out the details below and get your tickets now!



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