Video: Fashion & the Coronavirus panel

Thank you to our panelists and attendees at our first online event! The complete video is above. We tried to answer as many questions as we could either in the group chat or in our discussions, but more responses and resources will follow soon!


If you are an attorney seeking continuing legal education credit from New York or a state with New York reciprocity, you can receive CLE credit whether you saw the livestream or watch the event on demand.  Simply email us for the CLE materials link/password; fill out this official form, including the special codes announced at various points during the session; and email the completed to (If you've already emailed it to a different address, you don't need to email it again — we monitor all of our email addresses!)

For those watching the video on demand, the opportunity to request CLE credit will be available through April 30, 2020.

DATE: Friday, March 27, 2020
TIME: 9:30 - 10:45am NYC time
NYS CLE: 1.5 hours professional practice,
transitional and non-transitional

Fashion & the Coronavirus

"Going viral" was the most sought-after metaphor of the millennium -- until a real virus stopped the world from turning. Our hearts go out to all who have suffered during the current crisis, whether directly through illness or indirectly through upheaval in our personal and professional lives.

We all want to reach out and contribute what we can at this difficult time. For the Fashion Law Institute, that means connecting with you, our global community, and offering a free online event with CLE credit for attorneys and information for everyone.

The coronavirus has of course raised many concerns throughout the fashion industry, from managing production and the supply chain to re-reading contracts, changing retail's try-on culture, closing stores, canceling events, and shifting work online, all the while maintaining continuity with regard to brand protection and other legal matters.

If this moment in history has an (antimicrobial) silver lining, it's that we can come together to share solutions for the issues at hand and the rebuilding that is still to come.

The coronavirus may have a regal name, but cooperation is humanity's crowning glory.

Be well, and we hope to see you at our 10th annual symposium, now in September!


  • Diana Bernal, Retail consultant
  • Nancy Bishai, APP Group (MACKAGE and SOIA & KYO)
  • Cristina Del Valle, Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Karyn D. Jefferson, Benjamin Moore & Co.
  • Tony Kim, Hero Within
  • Don M. Obert, The Obert Law Firm
  • Jeff Trexler, Moda Legal
  • Gary Wassner, Hilldun
  • Moderator: Professor Susan Scafidi, Fashion Law Institute

10th Annual Symposium

Photo of seated attendees and panelists at 9th annual symposium

Join us for the highlight of the fashion law calendar: our 10th Annual Symposium!

DATE: September 2020 (TBA)
TIME: 9am-6pm
PLACE: Costantino Room, 2nd floor, Fordham Law School, 150 W. 62nd Street

$ 0.00

CSM x Fashion Law Institute

Transparent Fashion Law Institute gavel and spool of thread logo over UK and US flags

The Fashion Law Institute is going to London!

A new decade brings new opportunities and challenges to the fashion industry – and when it comes to strategic thinking, two heads are better than one. Join thought leaders from the Fashion Law Institute and Central Saint Martins, together for the first time to discuss the changing legal and business landscape and what it means for fashion’s future.

The first annual CSM x Fashion Law Institute Fashion Law Professional Development Workshop will take place on November 5, 2020 (NEW DATE) from 10am-4pm at CSM . Exploring what’s ahead in the industry, it’s designed to share everything our two institutions’ know about the industry’s legal and business environment, supporting professionals who want to prepare for fashion’s changing future.

This programme is created for designers, entrepreneurs, lawyers, and other fashion industry professionals. It will be led by Professor Susan Scafidi, the Fashion Law Institute’s founder and director, and Jeff Trexler, the Institute’s associate director, in conjunction with Central Saint Martins Fashion academics. Other guest speakers will include fashion in-house counsel, designers, and executives.

The level of this workshop is intermediate or advanced and would suit practicing professionals that would like to learn more about Fashion Law.

The aim of the workshop is to underpin innovative design and communication with a richer awareness of fashion law and business for fashion industry professionals. The programme will cover key developments and trends in such important areas as intellectual property, privacy, advertising, antitrust, and international trade.

This Professional Development day will be a mixture of discussions and lectures. This dynamic structure has been designed to be engaging and allow for participants to network, learn from each other and gain valuable information from the course leaders.

Register here!

(Please note that outside the U.S., the shortform for November 5, 2020 is written as 5/11/2020 — that’s November, not May!)

Inside Out 5: Fashion’s In-House Counsel

Sold out announcement for event -- Inside Out 5: Fashion's In-House Counsel on the New Roaring '20s, on Friday, February 7, 9:30-10:45am. Black and white image of a Prohibition-era woman's legs with a flask tucked in a garter.


A new decade brings new challenges to the fashion industry, and in-house counsel are at the cutting edge of change. Join us for our annual New York Fashion Week legal speakeasy, "Inside Out 5: Fashion's In-House Counsel on the New Roaring '20s." 

DATE: Friday, February 7, 2020
TIME: 9:30-10:45am (breakfast 9am)
PLACE: Fordham Law School, 150 W. 62nd Street, Room 7-119
NYS CLE: 1.5 hours professional practice, transitional and non-transitional


  • Karyn D. Jefferson, Benjamin Moore
  • Marie Funel, Birchbox
  • Nick Barnhorst, Fresh
  • Louise Firestone, LVMH
  • Jeffrey Hellman, PVH
  • Ashley Valdes, Warby Parker

Combating Copycats: How to Protect Your Designs

Black cat with arched back and curled tail

Constantly combating copycats?  Join Fleur du Mal founder Jennifer Zuccarini and Professor Susan Scafidi, founder of the Fashion Law Institute, for an update on the latest in intellectual property protection strategies -- and a conversation about the future of copyrights, trademarks, patents, and the fashion industry.  If you have individual questions and would like to schedule a free consultation through the Fashion Law Institute Pop-Up Clinic, please indicate your request below.  This event is limited to fashion design professionals and design students only and is not open to attorneys, media, or the general public.

DATE:  Thursday, November 7, 2019
TIME:  6:00-7:00pm
PLACE:  Fordham Law School, 150 W. 62nd Street, New York, NY  10023

Ethics CLE on 10/10

Event announcement - Gig Reflex: Will Fashion Find New Independent Contractor Laws Hard to Swallow? (Graphic: nauseated face emoji)

Are independent contractors the new sweatshop workers? California’s new legislation implies just that, and while it’s aimed at reclassifying Uber and Lyft drivers, it will also have an impact on the fashion industry — not just on the West Coast but across the country. In this edition of our annual ethics CLE program, we will explain how employee and independent contractor standards are evolving, as well as what this means for fashion and the ethical practice of law. Key issues include the following:

  • How is the law of independent contractor and employee status changing? What will these changes mean for the fashion industry? 
  • To what extent can New York attorneys advise clients facing employment classification issues in other states?
  • Should legal ethics rules on state bar membership change to reflect today’s interstate economy?
  • And as legislators and regulators across the country follow California in condemning independent contractor status as a form of exploitation, how should attorneys design contracts to address this ethical concern?

DATE: Thursday, October 10, 2019
TIME: 6:30 - 7:45pm (reception 6:00pm)
PLACE: Bateman Room, 2nd Floor, Fordham Law School, 150 W. 62nd Street
NYS CLE: 1.5 hours (1.0 hours ethics; 0.5 hours professional practice, transitional and non-transitional)


  • Elisheva Hirshman, PVH Corp.
  • Joey Hunter, Fashion and Talent Industry Consultant
  • Karyn D. Jefferson, Benjamin Moore & Co.
  • Rebecca Nathanson, NYS Department of Labor

$ 0.00

Event: Retail Survival in Turbulent Times

Fashion's 9 Lives: Retail Survival in Turbulent Times event - September 6, 2019 from 9:30-10:45am - cat with tail in shape of a 9 - 9th anniversary event!

At a time when high-profile bankruptcies, international protests, and tariff wars are disrupting the retail environment, how can the fashion industry land on its feet? What are the best strategies for dealing with our uncertain economic future? Are there steps brands can take to keep tariffs and turmoil from cutting into fashion’s crucial 4th quarter retail sales? How can vendors protect themselves before a store goes bankrupt, and what should they do after a bankruptcy petition is filed? Join our panel of experts as they discuss these questions and more at our 9th anniversary New York Fashion Week event, “Fashion's 9 Lives: Retail Survival in Turbulent Times.” 

DATE: Friday, September 6, 2019
TIME: 9:30 - 10:45am (breakfast 9:00am)
PLACE: Bateman Room, 2nd Floor, Fordham Law School, 150 W. 62nd Street
NYS CLE: 1.5 hours professional practice, transitional and non-transitional


  • Danica Chin, Tiffany & Co.
  • Anna  Fan, Hong Kong Trade Development Council
  • Jon Gold, National Retail Federation
  • Charles Miller, Macy's
  • Jeff Trexler, Moda Legal
  • Gary Wassner, Hilldun


$ 0.00

9th Annual Symposium – Special Rate

10th Annual Symposium - Special Rate
$ 0.00

9th Annual Symposium

Announcement of 9th annual symposium, "Fashion. Law. Realness." Friday, April 12, 2019. Image of eyes with one eyebrow raised. Fashion Law Institute logo.

If you have not registered and are a member of the media (with credentials) planning to cover this event, please email us at

Join us for the highlight of the fashion law calendar: our 9th Annual Symposium on April 12th!

DATE: April 12, 2019
TIME: 9am-6pm
PLACE: Fordham Law School, 150 W. 62nd Street
NYS CLE: 6.5 hours total (4.5 professional practice,
transitional & non-transitional, 1.0 diversity, inclusion, and elimination of bias; and 1.0 ethics)


  • Kenneth Anand, YEEZY Apparel
  • Diana Bernal, Retail Consultant
  • Meryl Bernstein, Hogan Lovells
  • Claire Bing and Vanessa A. Nadal, Esq., Professors of Cosmetics Regulation, Fordham
  • Lissa Bourjolly, Centric Brands
  • Mary Kate Brennan, Dentons
  • Angela Byun, Condé Nast
  • Ron Coleman, Mandelbaum Salsburg
  • Cristina Del Valle, Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Deborah Farone, Farone Advisors
  • Sarah Feingold, First lawyer at Etsy and Vroom
  • Douriean Fletcher, Jewelry designer for Black Panther
  • Chris Giglio, HL Strategic Solutions
  • Robin Gruber, Chanel
  • Nick Hawkins, Under Armour
  • Chi Kim, Balenciaga
  • Cindy Levitt, Mad Engine; Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association (LIMA)
  • Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler, Diet Prada
  • Krina Merchant, Province Brands
  • Adrienne T. Montes, Gabay & Bowler
  • Casey O’Connor and Dan Tasse, Stitch Fix
  • Aleksandra Petkovic, Shearman & Sterling
  • Nicole Piccirillo, Sam Edelman
  • Grace Sacro and Brittny-Jade Saunders, NYC Commission on Human Rights
  • Professor Susan Scafidi, Fashion Law Institute
  • David Stark, Artestar; Keith Haring Foundation
  • Professor Olivier Sylvain, Fordham School of Law
  • Jeff Trexler, Moda Legal
  • Sara Yood, Jewelers Vigilance Committee
  • Staci Zaretsky, Above the Law



Legal Realism: Designers' IP and the ethics of attorney advertising

Who are you wearing – and is it your client? Legal ethics rules on traditional attorney advertising can seem straightforward, but fashion lawyers in particular face the temptation to brand themselves as fashion mavens and post on social media about style, their sometime fashion clients, and other labels -- at times using trademarks, designs, storefront or studio backgrounds, and runway images. Sit front row as this panel goes beyond old ethics rules to contemporary legal marketing, offering not only an assessment of the law and the rules but also a broader look at how fashion lawyers can and should sell themselves.

Keeping It Real: Streetwear, street art, cannabis, and the law of breaking the rules

Streetwear, street art, even some street drugs – outsider art and culture in various forms are redefining the fashion mainstream. But what does it mean to be “street,” and is that moniker a simple descriptor, an insult, or an assertion of authenticity? Why is street style so compelling that it is influencing everyone from traditional European fashion houses to mass market retailers, and what is the effect of this widespread appropriation? How can a fashion-related enterprise with street roots maintain an authentic transgressive identity while reaching a broad audience? What are the legal complications of engaging in a guerrilla marketing campaign or incorporating graffiti or “aerosol art” and cannabis into fashion, personal care, and other consumer lifestyle products? Ultimately, what are the social, cultural, and legal challenges of keeping it real?

Real Deals: Secrets of effective licensing and collaborations

Why settle for one brand when two will do? Whether designer x retailer, influencer x fashion house, or luxury label x contemporary or mass market company, highly publicized collaborations are driving the fashion industry. At the same time, traditional licensing continues to serve as a source of expansion and revenue for both existing and emerging brands. What are the secrets of a successful partnership in today’s market? Are there pros and cons of licensing versus collaboration? Do fashion labels risk diluting their brand value and identity through multiple licenses or collaborations? How can a company determine whether a proposed partnership is a match made in heaven or an unholy alliance? And is the current collaboration craze a temporary trend or the new normal? This limited-edition panel is brought to you by the letter X.


Hyperreality: AI, privacy, and virtual retail

Is your on-trend designer, insightful stylist, or simpatico sales assistant actually an algorithm? Are virtual and augmented reality the key to reinvigorating retail? Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and new hybrids are useful tools for predicting what consumers want, allowing customers to try on clothes without ever reaching for a zipper, and even staying one step ahead of counterfeiters – especially when these technologies are refined through access to large volumes of data such as sales figures, product reviews, and social media commentary. Privacy concerns have arisen, however, in the wake of data leaks and increased public awareness of the systematic collection and storage of both personally identifiable and aggregate data.  How have the E.U.’s GDPR and subsequent legislation changed the nascent use of AI and VR in fashion? Has the law caught up with the need to protect not only consumers but also both human and virtual creators and their creations? In other words, is the law prepared for the future of fashion?

Real Possibilities: Recent developments in fashion law

Fashion is all about new, now, next, and the law moves almost as fast as the industry. This lightning-round panel will keep you on the cutting edge of developing issues including how to navigate the transformed landscape of retail real estate and the counterintuitive resurgence of luxury malls; antitrust investigations in the U.S. and E.U.; trademark trials and tribulations ranging from the FUCT case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court to ongoing litigation over retail resale and authenticity; competing cosmetics regulation bills under consideration in Congress; and the Federal Trade Commission’s entry into the debate over whether lab-grown diamonds are “real.”

Really? Dolce & Gabbana, Galliano, and other unfashionable faux pas

Call-out culture has raised awareness of racially and ethnically sensitive issues, but despite a steady stream of social media attention to inflammatory incidents and unfortunate products, the fashion industry as a whole is struggling to adapt. How have brands responded to backlash? What is the appropriate response to a public relations crisis, beyond a standard apology? How can innovative inclusivity initiatives change the face of fashion? And what are the newest employment laws and regulations lighting the way?



9th Annual Symposium Sponsors