Brittany Rawlings, head of the Law Offices of Aaron Resnick, P.A.‘s Fashion law department, is being featured in the launch of Style Saves, Inc., a non-profit charity founded by fashion stylist Rachael Russell with The Miami Foundation, on Friday, July 15, 2011. The intimate event will feature a trendsetting fashion show held on the ground level of the SOHO Beach House in the Tiki Bar. The event is set to begin with cocktails at 8:00pm. Rawlings’ jewelry line, which has been recently featured in Plum Magazine, B.Rawlings, will highlight the show. Style Saves, Inc., in collaboration with local South Florida retail stores and boutiques, seeks to imbue underprivileged students with the confidence needed to achieve their full potential by providing them with a brand-new outfit for their first day of school.
“We’re giving a fresh start through fashion, and building confidence through clothes,” states Russell. SOHO Beach House will sponsor the event with Hors D’oeuvres courtesy of Cecconi’s and drinks by Moët & Chandon Imperial Ice. Musical entertainment will be provided by Ess & Emm.
Following the fashion show, a private reception will be held on the 8th floor club pool deck of the SOHO Beach House where luxury goods and services will be silently auctioned. All proceeds from the event will go to benefit Style Saves’ students.
The Law Offices of Aaron Resnick, P.A. is one of the few Florida firms that has a practice group dedicated to Fashion Law. Fashion law is a specialized area of law that deals with intellectual property (copyright and trademark law, including brand licensing), domestic and international business transactions, textiles, merchandising, employment and labor concerns, and customs (import/export issues). Traditionally, most fashion lawyers work for established fashion and luxury goods companies in major urban commercial centers such as New York City, Paris, London and Milan. Some fashion lawyers work within the company, and others work outside the company for law firms.
Fashion Law is a quickly growing legal specialty, and several American law and design schools have dedicated clinics and courses to its study. In a 2008 article, Susan Scafidi, the first U.S. law professor ever to offer a course in Fashion Law and later Director of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law, wrote that Fashion Law was only then starting to be recognized as a distinct field. Since then, Deborah McNamara at Parsons The New School for Design, and Guillermo Jimenez at the Fashion Institute of Technology at the State University of New York, have also offered courses in Fashion Law. However, such courses remain rare.
The still-emerging nature of the discipline is evident from the fact that the New York City Bar Association, located in America’s fashion capital, did not have a dedicated Fashion Law Committee until June 2011.
Fashion attorneys participate in a variety of legal activities and negotiate deals for their clients. The clients may be large retail chains, haute couture labels, high-fashion models, or an unknown designers just starting out. If and when the situation arises, a fashion attorney will litigate for his or her clients in court.
Fashion houses and accessory designers both face unique challenges specific to their industry. They require attorneys who understand the nature of short seasons and ever-changing product cycles, pressures surrounding counterfeit goods, and the issues of unfair competition. Valuable assets in the fashion business consist of not only intellectual property rights, but also trade arrangements, contracts, and information technology systems. A fashion attorney’s career success may depend on being able to effectively protect these assets by delivering industry-specific legal advice tailored to the clients’ needs.