I live in a house with three fashion-conscious females, which means a fairly steady TV diet of Project Runway and Fashion Police (both of which I really like), Say Yes to the Dress (which I hate) and What Not to Wear (which I despise maybe more than any show on TV). Overall, I love fashion because it is a leading source of business for my law firm. For years, we represented companies that sourced their clothes manufacturing to Korea, then China came along, and now Vietnam.
I have always liked fashion related clients because they have such interesting intellectual property issues which can vary so much from country to country. Can you copyright an article of clothing? Can you trademark it? Can you copyright the design? What about “look and feel.” It depends.
There are no fewer than three excellent fashion law blogs and all frequently discuss the IP issues inherent in the business:
I am talking about fashion today not just because there was no Project Runway episode this week, but because I just learned that Michael Zakkour, who has been helping foreign (mostly Western) fashion companies in Asia for many years (and with whom I have worked on many China/Vietnam projects), will be speaking in New York City next month on China fashion. The title of Mike’s talk is “One Year on the Front Lines in China’s Luxury and Apparel Markets” [link no longer exists]. The talk is being put on by the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, the Fashion institute of Technology and Technomic Asia and it will be on October 3.
Here’s the blurb on Mike’s talk:
China is now the number one market in the world for apparel and accessories and is also the world’s largest market for a wide-array of other luxury and premium products. Renowned China expert Michael Zakkour, Principal of Technomic Asia, a consulting firm, will take you on a fascinating journey into the world of Chinese fashion, apparel, accessories and luxury products, detailing a year-long study of what the consumers want, who is selling it to them, and how they do it.
Topics will include:
- The China apparel and accessory market (market size and scope, current trends, business opportunities and hurdles, case studies, how to get started or expand in China)
- China’s appetite for fragrances and body care products not made in China
- A comprehensive look at the Chinese consumer (demographics, spending habits, what they want and what companies can deliver)
- What the next 1-5 years will bring to China and why winning there is crucial for the survival of commercial pursuits
Mark Greiz, Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Chief Consultant at MG Consulting will also be speaking. Professor Lawrence Delson of the Fashion Institute of Technology and New York University and President of Delson International Inc., will be moderating the event.
If you are involved in or interested in the fashion business as it relates to China, this is a can’t miss event.