1st Annual Fashion Law Institute Symposium: Global Growth and Legal Landscapes

Fashion Law students and practitioners, this is a symposium to check out.

Date(s): 04.15.11 | Fri
Time: 8:45 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Location: McNally Amphitheatre, Fordham Law School, 140 West 62nd Street, NYC
Sponsor: Fashion Law Institute

8:45 Registration and coffee

9:15 Welcome

Panel 1: Shopping for Fashion Houses: Who’s First in Line in the M&A Market?

Mergers and acquisitions are back in fashion. After the recent downturn there was a hard freeze in activity, but in the past year there has been renewed financial interest in fashion houses. From multinational corporations expanding into new product categories or distribution platforms, to Asian companies looking to buy into Western labels, to private equity firms investing in emerging designers and undervalued brands, it seems that everyone wants a stake in fashion. This panel will explore the recent upsurge of M&A in the fashion industry and the many issues involved, including valuation of intellectual property in a buyout, hostile takeovers, shareholder litigation and the risks of going public, and the creation of synergies and cohesive brand images within fashion conglomerates.

Panelists include Louise Firestone, LVMH; Sean Griffith, Fordham Law School; Doug Hand, Hand, Baldachin & Amburgey; Richard Kestenbaum, Triangle Capital; Gary Wassner, Hilldun Corporation.

Panel 2: Spinning the Globe: The Future of the “Made In” Label

“Made in USA” is in danger of disappearing.
“Made in Italy” is the subject of legal debate.
“Made in China” is an economic powerhouse, but under pressure from labor costs and quality questions.

What does it mean to be “made in” a particular country? In fashion, design is only the first and most glamorous step in a long chain. The actual manufacture of clothing and accessories relies on a complex, competitive global network, which is currently facing worldwide cotton and wool shortages, rising costs of labor and raw materials, questions of currency valuation, the demands of textile innovation, production delays, and intense price competition among suppliers. Fashion houses must choose among high-cost Western production, formerly low-cost but increasingly expensive production in China, and moving manufacturing to still cheaper countries like Bangladesh and Cambodia. In Europe, some luxury brands have quietly shifted production of exclusive lines out of Italy and France to different countries, while other labels have remained linked to traditional craftsmanship, choosing instead to cut volume and increase prices. Closer to home, U.S. designers are struggling to preserve American production with campaigns like “Save the Garment Center.” This panel will examine how issues in sourcing and manufacturing are affecting the fashion industry, what steps the industry is taking to deal with these concerns, and whether the consumer even cares what it says on the “made in” label.

Panelists include Joseph Ferrara, Garment Center Supplier Association; Guillermo Jimenez, FIT; Sabina Lepre Leva, Italian Trade Commission; Mary O’Rourke, O’Rourke Group Partners; Andy Ward, Garment Industry Development Corporation.

12:30-2:00 Lunch

Panel 3: Is Grey the New Black? Parallel Imports and Counterfeits in the Online Marketplace

International borders today can seem as easily crossed as lines on a map, particularly when it comes to the movement of products around the world to reach the consumer. Whether in a 40-foot shipping container or a single package addressed to a residence on Main Street, wholesale and retail orders are always on their way – and some of them are bound to contain parallel imports, goods bearing false trademarks, or both. The black market in counterfeits has received more attention than the grey market in otherwise legal goods distributed through unauthorized channels, but both are a matter of concern for fashion houses seeking to protect their brand images – especially given increased globalization of production, the popularity of discount retailers, and the growth of online retail sales. This panel will address issues involving the black and grey markets, as well as different strategies for addressing them.

Panelists include Erica Alterwitz, BCBG; Rachel Dooley, Gemma Redux; Fred Felman, MarkMonitor; Paul Garrity, Sheppard Mullin; Scott Gelin, Greenberg Traurig; Valerie Salembier, Harper’s Bazaar; Susan Scafidi, Fordham Law School.

Panel 4: Eco-Chic: Is It Easy Being Green?

As fashion becomes a more environmentally conscious industry, some proponents of eco-chic have called attention to the unfortunate side effect of greenwashing, the practice of companies disingenuously spinning their products and policies as environmentally friendly. This panel will discuss the newly updated FTC “Green Guides” proposed in October 2010, how they may help combat greenwashing, and what both companies and consumers can expect from the Green Guides. This panel will also look at new developments, trends, and eco-friendly industry initiatives in areas such as sourcing, manufacturing, and production, as well as broader themes such as sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

Panelists include Maria Cornejo, Zero Maria Cornejo; Sarah Scaturro, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum; Paolo Galizzi, Fordham Law School; Darren Lubetzky, U.S. Federal Trade Commission; Marysia Woroniecka, Zero Maria Cornejo.

5:00-6:00 Reception and Fashion Presentation

CLE Credit: 6 Transitional and Non-Transitional, Professional Practice NYS CLE Credits are available for $120 ($85 for Fordham Law alumni & public interest attorneys).

Non-CLE Admission for students, designers and other members of the fashion industry is available for $25.

Fordham Law School has a financial hardship policy for the symposium.

CLE Credits: 6 CLE transitional and non-transitional credits
Telephone: 212.636-6945
Email: cle@law.fordham.edu