Fordham University and CFDA Launch Fashion Law Institute

2010 is turning out to be the year that fashion got super serious about protecting itself. Just a few weeks ago, Senator Charles Schumer introduced the Innovation Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act, a bill long in the works by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and now, assuming the bill passes, there will soon be a new class of lawyers to help it along. Fordham University, in conjunction with the CFDA, have just announced the creation of the Fashion Law Institute, “the world’s first center dedicated to law and the fashion industry.” Diane von Furstenberg, the CFDA’s president, was on hand at the center’s launch, with her organization donating $100,000 and the designer herself an additional $50,000, to help get it off the ground. Currently the university is expecting the Institute to require at least $1 million for its first year, and then regular funding from there on out. Given how much more serious the industry seems to have gotten about legal matters this year, if the center turns out to be a beneficial asset, we assume they’ll have no trouble with fundraising. Here’s a bit about what the Institute will offer:

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.