Fordham Law

Fordham Law Launches Fashion Law Institute

September 08, 2010

Fordham Law School and the Council of Fashion Designers of America announced the launch of the Fashion Law Institute today with a $100,000 gift from the Council of Fashion Designers of America and CFDA President Diane von Furstenberg. Fordham Law School anticipates that the Institute has needs of $1 million in its first year, and the leadership gift from von Furstenberg and the CFDA ensures the innovative work of the Institute can begin.
(l–r) Interim Dean Michael M. Martin, Diane von Furstenberg, Steven Kolb, and Associate Dean Sheila Foster

The press conference was opened by Fordham Law Professor Susan Scafidi, academic director of the Fashion Law Institute, which is the world’s first center dedicated to law and the fashion industry.

“The Fashion Law Institute places Fordham Law School at the forefront of this newly defined field of law,” said Michael M. Martin, Interim Dean at Fordham Law. “Professor Scafidi pioneered the study of fashion law and is internationally recognized for her work in fashion law. Our students will have unique opportunities to learn about the industry as well as gain experience helping young designers with the legal aspects of the business of fashion.”

“The Fashion Law Institute is poised to become the leading legal resource for the fashion industry,” said von Furstenberg. “The CFDA is committed to nurturing this important new venture, and I encourage my colleagues in fashion design and members of the business and legal communities to join me in supporting the Fashion Law Institute.”

“The CFDA’s invaluable support and advice will help ensure that the Fashion Law Institute is able to provide a resource and research platform to law students, fashion houses, and especially to emerging designers, who may not be able to afford the legal counsel that is so important to developing a business,” said Scafidi.

“It is a delightful coincidence that the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School is literally right across the street from Lincoln Center, the new home of Fashion Week,” added Scafidi.

CFDA Executive Director Steven Kolb noted, “The collaborative efforts between the Fashion Law Institute and the CFDA will prove beneficial to burgeoning lawyers and designers.”

“The New York fashion industry is an essential part of New York City’s economy, employing nearly 200,000 people at over 800 fashion companies. The opening of the Fashion Law Institute will be a huge asset to this juggernaut industry and will be a tremendous resource for law students throughout the country. I want to commend the Council of Fashion Designers of America and CFDA President Diane von Furstenberg for their generous gift to get this project off the ground,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, who has recently worked with Scafidi, the CFDA, and the American Apparel and Footwear Association to introduce legislation protecting the work of fashion designers.

In addition to a signature Fashion Law survey course addressing the legal issues that arise throughout the life of a garment, from the designer’s original idea to the consumer’s closet, the Fashion Law Institute will offer advanced classes and seminars introducing future lawyers to key legal aspects of the fashion industry. These courses include Fashion Law & Finance; Fashion Ethics, Sustainability & Development; Fashion Retail Law; and the Fashion Law Practicum. The Institute will also offer public seminars and programs on issues of interest to members of the legal and fashion communities.