WE THE PEOPLE: Designer Rights Make Debut at New York Fashion Week 2010

By: Kelly Ahern, guest blogger

As their newest creations emerge along the runways during New York’s Spring/Summer 2011 Fashion Week, the fight for designer’s intellectual property rights is underway.

With the induction of the Fordham Law’s, Fashion Law Institute, legendary designer Diane von Furstenberg was on site, commending this new opportunity available to surfacing designers who need to protect their ideas and pieces.

According to a post from AFP, von Furstenberg stated, “as a designer who has been around for a long, long time, I can tell you, a lawyer who understands fashion is a very important thing.”

Von Furstenberg, who is also president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), approved of the new Institute’s focus on a wide variety of issues such as: intellectual property, international trade and government regulation.

Within this tech-savvy society, the most original and trendy designs at the biggest international fashion weeks such as in New York are showcased around the world, making them an insatiable target for corrupt fashion pirates who mass-produce knockoffs of these new creations in sweatshops reaching across Asia to Europe.

Von Furstenberg went on to say, “as a designer, you have to protect yourself in so many ways, there are so many reasons a designer needs a lawyer and, for a young designer, it’s even more important.”

Unregulated, high-end knockoffs are jeopardizing the integrity of New York’s fashion industry.

Supporters of the cause hope that legislation will even out the playing field with European designers– this would mean protection for an industry that employs hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and pumps billions of dollars into the local economy.


Kelly Ahern is a recent Roger Williams Univeristy graduate living in New England. She graduated with a degree in Communications-Public Relations and a Core Concertration in Italian. She is an aspiring PR professional who loves social media, fashion and traveling. You can find her on Twitter @Kelly_Ahern.

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