New Fordham Fashion Law Institute Seeks to Educate and Protect Those in the Fashion Industry

Armed with the support of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), the Fordham Fashion Law Institute launches September 8 to forge a new course of study in the business, politics and rules of the industry, as well as pro bono legal advice for designers.

In an effort to highlight the serious inner workings of running a fashion business--it's not all parties and fabulous shoes, obviously--the Fashion Law Institute has some pretty lofty goals of essentially creating an entirely new arm of the law that deals with everything from intellectual property to copyright to real estate to incorporation.

The Cut spoke to the Institute's director, Susan Scafidi, who, in addition to outlining the educational program being implemented, expressed their desire to provide a resource for designers. There are plenty of designers whose remarkable talent has launched them into the position of creating their own business, but who don't have the necessary protection and guidance to make that business viable.

The new program comes at a significant period in the fashion industry, with New York senator Chuck Schumer having just introduced the third draft of the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act to Congress, a bill that aims to make the task of eliminating copycats an official one.

Perhaps because of its glamorous foundation, fashion as a business has to work harder to be taken seriously. Hopefully the Fordham Fashion Law Institute can make the headway it aspires to, helping to advance the industry effectively and efficiently, which includes providing an invaluable resource to designers. It's a win-win, really.

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