If you did not know better, you would think Fashion Law was ONLY about designers and was limited strictly to intellectual property law, specifically Trademark law. We’ve heard a lot about “fashion law, fashion law, fashion law.” There is such excitement as the niche continues to grow. However, practically all discussions, so far, are focused on fashion designers. Designers, I love you all, especially having worn some of your garments and strutted on runways in them.
However, while designers are important in fashion law, the fashion law picture is simply incomplete without the necessary workers that make the fashion world go around, the models!
Today, we are focusing on our models.
Models, where are you? Raise your hands real high so I can see you all. Great! I see my model girlfriends in New York and California smiling and waiving at me. *Hello ladies! I’m smiling and waiving right back at you all.* Models, when it comes to fashion law, you all would agree with me that our roles should not be relegated to being just human coat hangers as it has been and continues to be in the fashion industry in general. In fact, as models, most of us experience issues that would cause consternation to any fashion model lawyer worth his or her salt. Often, the law needs to step in right from when you sign that modeling contract to when you show up for work with your agency’s client that you were fortunate to book through castings.
That is where I come in, to educate you about the law specific to the modeling industry. I will kick off discussions on what can best be termed as “Fashion Modeling Law” on October 6th, 2012, at Sacramento Fashion Week’s ‘Model Workshop.’ Sacramento is the heart of where legislation and laws protecting fashion models and the fashion industry in general takes place. So, it is only fitting it is the place a true discussion on fashion modeling law, from a fellow model, should begin.
By the way, most of you already know or should know that California houses two power cities for fashion: Los Angeles and San Francisco. Sacramento is a good place to really build a focus around the fashion industry and the law, from a policy perspective.
For both modeling agencies and models reading this outside of California, if you want me in your states and cities to speak on Modeling Law, feel free to contact me at (firstname.lastname@example.org).
So, what should models who will make it to the model workshop expect at my upcoming speaking engagement:
What to Expect in my Discussions on Fashion Modeling Law
I will discuss the legal issues that models have had to face and do face in the modeling world. My discussions will, assuming time permits, include:
- Understanding your legal status as a model i.e. independent contractor vs. employee ;
- Understanding the model contracts you sign i.e. exclusive vs. non-exclusive contracts;
- Having a well drafted “exit” or termination clause in your contract in case your relationship does not work out with your modeling agency;
- Negotiating a modeling agency and management agreement that makes sense for you;
- Understanding model release forms and work made for hire agreements;
- Intellectual property rights that affects you as a model;
- Right of Publicity i.e. use of your image, likeness and voice as a model, especially in a client’s marketing, advertising and promotion campaign;
- Understanding the fine print on that voucher/timesheet that you have that client sign each time you complete work;
- Basic labor and employment law issues affecting models, including discrimination and sexual harassment issues; and
- Frauds/scams perpetrated on models.
Come hear a real model who is also an attorney talk about legal issues that affect models. For parents with models who are underage, this is a good workshop to also come to. I look forward to seeing you all.
Photocredit: Arun Nevader (Pic 1 &2), Peter Z. (Pic 3), Beau Jones (Pic 4)