It's not that the laws are any different, but if the lawyer speaks the same language from the start it makes things a lot easier. There are a lot of issues you need to get to early.

– Diane von Furstenberg

The Fashion Law Russia blog was founded in 2016 and is the first resource in the Russian language dedicated to the legal aspects of the fashion industry, or what is referred to as a ‘fashion law’. Hardly anyone then had heard of it, but interest in Russia in fashion law has been on a steady upward curve ever since. However, a certain confusion remains as to what “this law”, so fashionable these days, really is. Many have already figured out that fashion law has nothing to do with what to wear to a court to score points with the judge and not to lose the case. Mind you, the US market has been familiar with the notion of a ‘court stylist’ for quite some time now. A court stylist works on the image of a defendant and having such a stylist on the team plays a significant role, especially in high-profile cases that have caught the imagination of the press.

Fashion law does not lay claim to be a separate branch of law. Many mistakenly believe that fashion law, being a kind of sub-branch of intellectual property law, exclusively boils down to the legal safeguarding and protection of copyright, trademarks or industrial designs. It goes without saying that the protection of IP lays the foundation of the strategy of any fashion brand. However, this is not the only area of focus. Doing business in the fashion industry can be fraught with a broad range of issues, from selecting the most suitable form for the business and recruiting employees to arranging an international supply chain and launching an IPO (for more details, please click here).

If we look into US textbooks (for example, this one) or  course syllabuses of the Fashion Law Institute in New York, we will see that professors try to take their students through the whole life cycle of any fashion product, from an idea to its implementation and sale. In so doing, they are trying to teach their students to tackle as wide a range as possible of the tasks a lawyer faces when he or she acts for a fashion business.

Therefore, the philosophy of our blog is that fashion law is a new specialist branch in legal practice, which is grounded on an understanding of the fashion industry and the specific aspects of its business processes. This may significantly assist lawyers in predicting legal risks. The demand for such a specialism is primarily generated by the industry itself. Testifying to this are, among other things, the words in the epigraph of Diane von Furstenberg, the famous US fashion designer and former Chair of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Diana became convinced through her own experience that if a lawyer talks the same language as a designer, this will significantly speed up their interaction and make it easier. This is also one of the reasons why, for many years, she has been supporting the Fashion Law Institute, which was founded on the base of the Fordham University School of Law in New York.

Yet, we believe that not only does a lawyer need to understand the fashion industry, but it would also benefit players in the industry to develop a legal mindset with an awareness of current regulation, potential legal risks and their rights and obligations.

The Fashion Law Russia resource was founded precisely for the purpose of the reciprocal sharing of experience and expertise. We are trying to speak in plain terms about important and stimulating topics. We will strive for FLR to become, over time, as full and convenient a resource as possible for obtaining information about law, business and fashion.

Our blog will always be open for like-minded persons. If you have something to say, please share your experience and expertise with us at [email protected].