If your style prowess is matched only by your penchant for truth and justice, we might have just found your perfect career path: fashion lawyer.
Fordham University has announced that come next fall, it will have students enrolled in a fashion law program—the first of its kind in the world. The program builds on the school’s earlier offerings, including a fashion-specific course and the CFDA-endorsed Fashion Law Institute, and now allows students to receive master’s degrees.
Fashion law, as explained by the Institute’s site, is described as something that:
embraces the legal substance of style, including all of the issues that may arise throughout the life of a garment, starting with the designer’s original idea and continuing all the way to the consumer’s closet. The diverse categories of law that affect the business of fashion include intellectual property, business and finance, international trade and government regulation, and consumer culture and civil rights. From the historical relationship between clothing and culture to current issues involving the globalization of fashion, the newly defined field of fashion law is made to measure for the modern apparel industry.
The new track will result in students receiving their master of laws, or L.L.M., in the fashion field (classes are also set to include modeling law and sustainability). Interested fashion folk who don’t want to necessarily become lawyers can also benefit: a master of studies in law will offer similar insight that can be used by anyone in the designing or retail worlds.
Diane von Furstenberg, president of the CFDA, said she thinks the new offerings will “help us all as an industry, lawyers or not, better understand, grow, and protect our businesses.” A scan of the past few years’ headlines might prove that the degree is needed now more than ever. Just this month, Isabel Marant came under fire for a blouse in her collection that echoes the signature designs of a community of apparel makers in Oaxaca, Mexico.