Article published October 10, 2011 on the Beale Street Chic blog.
Welcome to the debut feature article–Fashion Law Matters! This new article will explain how law and fashion share a common thread. Fashion Law Matters is designed to complement the fashion musings of Beale Street Chic and support the growing number of fashion designers in Memphis.
Let’s start with the most anticipated fashion collection at 2011 Paris Fashion Week—Dw Kanye West. While there was much speculation about West’s debut line, nothing was leaked to the public before the models hit the runway. How was this accomplished in our information hungry world? First, West’s clothing was made by graduate fashion students in London. The British are usually very discreet and “proper” about such things. However, tabloids offer big money to shake that decorum. Still, mum was the word for all parties concerned.
Second, it is possible to stop dissemination of trade secrets, confidential material or other proprietary information with a non-disclosure agreement. This is a legal contract between at least two parties that specifies that one party is sharing confidential information with another for an express purpose and such information should not be shared with third parties. The Dw Kanye West line was indeed a mystery until October 1st. Unfortunately, the critics did not feel that the line that was worth all the secrecy. And fashion icons such as Anna Wintour have adopted their own code of silence by responding “no comment” when asked about the Dw Kanye West collection. Other critics felt that the Dw Kanye West collection was reminiscent of other designers’ work. Even so, fashion is not protected under federal copyright law (more about that in a future article).
While the law can help protect a designer’s confidential information, an ill-fitting dress is a matter that Dw Kanye West will have to address without legal counsel.
Legal Disclaimer: Fashion Law Matters is not intended to serve as legal or other advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.