If I had started my new column Fashion Law 3 years ago, you would have all been wondering whether I am making my own areas of law up. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, dudes and duddettes. Fashion Law is a thing. An area of law that has been there for quite some time and the likes of Prof. Susan Scafidi brought it to life through her blog.
Being a former model and hopelessly in love with all this fashion and the fashion industry, I am happy to welcome you to my new column Fashion Law Africa. This is the place we will be discussing the now necessary area of law in Africa for African fashion designers and fashion houses.
The focus is now on Africa.
The world is looking to us for inspiration, business opportunities and collaboration. We need to sit at the table and review what kind of policies and legislation we need in place to take the fashion industry in Africa to the next level. The global apparel market is currently valued at 3 trillion US dollars, with a worth of 385.7 billion US dollars in the US domestic market alone. How much of the 3 trillion dollars is Africa’s slice?
For a long time, many proponents have been debating whether fashion can be protected or should be protected. The answer is, YES! How do you think fashion empires like Adidas, Louis Vuitton, Christian Louboutin, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci among many others have been built into lucrative businesses? While most fashion business are lagging behind trying to justify why the need a lawyer and for what purpose, the world’s leading brands have been at it for years and they are not about to let go. Have you heard about the case where Adidas sued a church for using its add a zero campaign? It is a calculated business strategy.
To flourish in the fashion industry as a business, the secret that is no longer a secret. Intellectual property protection is it! In the fashion industry navigating intellectual property law and using it to build a strong intellectual property portfolio and knowing what intellectual property law regime to use to protect a design and when and how to use it; is an art fashionpreneuers. Just like it is an art to create that piece of perfection for the magazine fashion spreads and for runway shows.
Welcome to Fashion Law Africa with Liz Lenjo.