Fashion Week goes to law school

Susan Scafidi in Crain's New York, September 07, 2012

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By Adrianne Pasquarelli @SheLikesToShop

On Friday, the two-year-old Fashion Law Institute at Fordham University School of Law celebrated its year-long pop-up law clinics at New York Fashion Week. The presentation, which took place inside the tents at Lincoln Center, highlighted the wares of six designers who have utilized the fashion law program.

Every month, the pro bono clinics offer advice from volunteer attorneys with fashion industry experience to law students on legal matters including intellectual property, contracts, real estate and trademark issues. Such clinics have occurred either at Fordham or at various law firms around the city.

"It's a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the pop-up clinics," said Susan Scafidi, the academic director of the Institute. "I'm so delighted not only to give these designers legal advice, but now to show off what they do." She noted that the clinics have helped dozens of designers over the last 12 months.

Friday's drew over 450 attendees.

Those showcasing their work included womenswear designer Emmett McCarthy, swimwear design-house Keely Rea, bridal and womenswear designer Kelima K, jewelry designer Rachel Dooley and bikewear designer Sarah Canner. Dimitry Saïd Chamy, who designs modular decorative panels, also showed his art.

Ms. Canner, who founded her cycling safety label Vespertine last year, used innovative materials in her six looks like 3M Scotchlite, ostrich feathers, and polyurethane coating on a linen-cotton blend. The designer, who also attended the mini-MBA program hosted by the city's Economic Development Corp. and the Fashion Institute of Technology earlier this year, used a flashlight to illustrate the reflective qualities of her clothing.

A short while after the Fashion Law event, another tent was filled with the styles of up-and-coming designers. Reality TV show Project Runway, now in its 10th season, hosted its finalist event. Per usual, the looks of eight designers were shown, though not all were finalists in the contest. Each, inspired by everything from deconstruction and reconstruction to cosmic tribalism, showed a total of 10 looks. Show regulars Heidi Klum, Michael Kors, Nina Garcia and Tim Gunn were all in attendance. The special guest judge was Academy Award-winning actress and Grammy Award-winning recording artist Jennifer Hudson.
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