Book Review: European Fashion Law, a Practical Guide From Start-up to Global Success

This Kat is thrilled to be able to review European Fashion Law, a Practical Guide From Start-up to Global Success, crafted by non-other than fellow Kat Rosie Burbidge.

As well as being a Guest Kat, Rosie is an intellectual property partner at Gunnercooke LLP, she writes from her experience with fashion and retail clients over the last decade, including two secondments to eBay and Richemont. The book therefore, provides both an overview of all the relevant legal issues, as well as insights into the fashion business.

The initial striking thing about the book, is its structure. Instead of the usual methodological pacing through all the key issues that commonly effect the fashion industry (such as IP, employment, data protection), Rosie tells the story of the modern fashion business, taking us [as the title put it] from start up to global success! The aim of this book is to set out the main legal issues that all fashion businesses need to be aware of in order to thrive in the modern marketplace.

As such, the book is presented in four parts. Part 1 introduces the fashion industry and the prevalent legal issues. Chapter 1 sets the economic context, considering business models, ethical fashion and challenges such as counterfeit goods and developments in fashion tech. Chapter 2 gives an overview of the EU legal structures, clarifying the roles of EU Parliament and EU Commission, as well as the different Courts and types of regulation.

One of the big issues with fashion tech is its sustainability and recyclability. It is hard enough to persuade people to recycle a woolly jumper but if it is embedded with LEDs but may not be possible to recycle at all.

Part 2 is aptly titled “BEFORE YOU TELL ANYONE ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT OR IDEA”. A chapter all lawyers no doubt wish their client’s had read. It covers such topics as trade marks, copyright, image rights, and designs accompanied with helpful images and illustrations.

Part 3, getting your business started, walks readers through the steps of incorporating, signing contracts, bringing on staff, agency and distribution agreements. It also considers relevant questions that face growing fashion businesses such as the risks of posting online – from considering IP implications to google AdWords. Rosie clearly understands the fashion industry is about creative inspiration and gives the reader a practical balanced guide on the risks and realities of doing business in fashion in the modern age.

Like so much in life, the choice of whether to use an agent or a distributor...is primarily a matter of timing. The most important thing is to work with people who you trust and have a proven track record.

Part 4 moves to considering the issues faced by a growing fashion business from the highs of international expansion, the bigger picture of ethical fashion and sustainability as well as the risks of counterfeit goods and litigation. It covers topics such as franchising, dispute resolution, litigation as well as tax and supply chain management.

The book helpfully includes symbols to indicate certain parts of the text that are particularly important, fairly retro or is a cool practical tip. Such as:

Working on her new Kat walk
image: sylvar
Because of the overall construction and arrangements, use of music, colours, lighting, the garments...as well as the styling of the runway [fashion shows] as a whole are capable of copyright protection.

I only wish this book was available when I was teaching at the London College of Fashion and Central St Martins (UAL)! This practical guide is essential reading for those working in the fashion business, including practitioners and lawyers with fashion clients, or in-house. It will no doubt be a welcome resource to any student of law interested in moving into the fashion industry as well as fashion students. The structure and presentation of the book also makes it a valuable and easily accessible for fashion start-ups, early fashion businesses and students in fashion, design, or retail.

Extent: 448 pp
Publication Date: 2019
Hardback Price: £90.00, on EE Website: £81.00
Paperback Price: £65.00, on EE Website: £52.00
Amazon £65

Book Review: European Fashion Law, a Practical Guide From Start-up to Global Success Book Review: European Fashion Law, a Practical Guide From Start-up to Global Success Reviewed by Hayleigh Bosher on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 Rating: 5

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