Fordham University has created a first-of-its-kind program that brings together law and fashion, the New York Times reports.
The university is introducing two fashion law degrees—the Master of Law in Fashion (L.L.M.) and a Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.)—for lawyers and laymen alike. The L.L.M. is intended for lawyers that have already been to graduate school and want to study the specialized area. The M.S.L. is for those who work in the fashion industry and want to wrap their head around all the field's legal issues.
"Legal savvy, like business expertise, has always been an important component in building a successful fashion house or design career," Susan Scafidi, who founded the Fashion Law Institute, told the New York Times. Scafidi cites prominent fashion designers that formed business partnerships that were crucial to their success, such as Yves Saint Laurent did with Pierre Bergé and Tom Ford and the lawyer Domenico De Sol.
The programs will last for two semesters and will the basics in addition to many of the topics plaguing the industry. Students will examine regulations regarding the employment of models, which has been a hot-button issue this year, as well as problems as they pertain to sustainability—another topic that has been on the minds of fashion leaders like Pharrell.
The program seems absolutely necessary at this time, as legal problems in the fashion industry keep popping up. In addition to the two mentioned above, Buscemi has raised concerns over copyright, Ralph Lauren has battled copyright issues, and Wil Fry has accused larger retailers of ripping him off.
It's why Scafidi adds, "Every designer should have a minimum degree of legal literacy."