Special Issue "The New Frontiers of Fashion Law"

A special issue of Laws (ISSN 2075-471X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Rossella Esther Cerchia

Guest Editor
Università degli Studi di Milano
Interests: contract law; comparative law; tort law; fashion law
Prof. Barbara Pozzo

Guest Editor
Università degli Studi dell’Insubria
Interests: comparative law; women’s rights in a comparative law perspective; environmental protection through private law; advertising law; legal translation

Special Issue Information

Dear Collegues,

Fashion law encompasses a wide variety of issues that concern an article of clothing or a fashion accessory, from the moment they have been designed, to their distribution, to the market.

Contract law, intellectual property, company law, tax law, international trade, and customs law are of fundamental importance in defining the new field of law that is gradually taking shape at various universities.

This Special Issue will focus on the new frontiers of fashion law, taking into account the various fields that recently showed up as being of great interest for the whole fashion world.

The scope of this Special Issue will range from sustainable fashion to wearable technologies, from the new remedies to cultural appropriation to the regulation of model weight, from advertising law on the digital market to the impact of new technologies on products distribution, taking into account recent trends in a comparative law perspective and trying to underline the newest international developments.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to stimulate discussion on emerging problems that might define new the boundaries of fashion law, while reaching out for new solutions that a comparative law perspective will render more interesting.

This Special Issue will, therefore, try to sketch out the new legal fields in which the fashion industry is getting involved, identifying the new boundaries of fashion law that existing literature has not dealt with in a comprehensive way.

Prof. Rossella Esther Cerchia
Prof. Barbara Pozzo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Laws is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Wearable technologies in the fashion world
  • Blockchain, intellectual property and fashion law
  • Textile wastes
  • Sustainable fashion
  • The protection of runways Remedies against cultural appropriation in the fashion business
  • Digital market, bloggers and trendsetters: the new world of advertising law
  • Photoshop and the (virtual) body of models

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Wearable Technologies and Smart Clothes in the Fashion Business: Some Issues Concerning Cybersecurity and Data Protection
Laws 2020, 9(2), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws9020012 - 29 May 2020
Abstract
Wearable devices and smart clothes give rise to pivotal technological and legal issues in the fashion business. The cybersecurity attention in the digital society, and the advent of General Data Protection Regulation No. 2016/679 (GDPR) in the European, and global, legal framework, implied [...] Read more.
Wearable devices and smart clothes give rise to pivotal technological and legal issues in the fashion business. The cybersecurity attention in the digital society, and the advent of General Data Protection Regulation No. 2016/679 (GDPR) in the European, and global, legal framework, implied the need to evaluate which norms and aspects of the European Regulation could apply to wearable devices, which are becoming more and more invasive. Wearable devices are, first of all (and from a data protection point of view), intrusive tools that can put users’ personal (and intimate) data at risk. In particular, we will discuss the aspects of the spread of an accountability “culture” (also) in the fashion business, the need for correct management policy of data breaches, the rights of transparency for users/customers who are using wearable devices and smart clothes, and respect for the dignity and nondiscrimination of the individual during the data collection and processing. These are, all, fundamental points: the protection of the individual’s data in the digital landscape is, in fact, strictly connected to the protection of his/her fundamental rights in the modern digital society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The New Frontiers of Fashion Law)
Open AccessArticle
Fashion as Art: Rights and Remedies in the Age of Social Media
Laws 2020, 9(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws9010009 - 11 Mar 2020
Abstract
Today’s increasingly widespread recognition of fashion’s artistic value has revamped the debate on the appropriateness of rights and remedies provided by IP law to fashion designs. From an Italian–US comparative perspective, this article inquires whether copyright protection, traditionally accorded to artists, is eligible [...] Read more.
Today’s increasingly widespread recognition of fashion’s artistic value has revamped the debate on the appropriateness of rights and remedies provided by IP law to fashion designs. From an Italian–US comparative perspective, this article inquires whether copyright protection, traditionally accorded to artists, is eligible and applied for fashion, detecting that rights and remedies are better accessible to major fashion companies and for iconic items, while they are not easily attainable by smaller designers. Analyzing a number of case studies, this article describes a growing phenomenon in the age of the digital revolution, that is, controversies regarding the fashion world tend to be disputed on social media rather than in courtrooms. Beyond the debate on which existing formal legal tools are suitable for fashion, the purpose is to bring the phenomenon of informal self-regulation out of court into conversation, examining advantages and disadvantages. Social media platforms are more suitable to fashion’s nature and dynamics, and ultimately, their verdicts seem to obtain better results than litigation, balancing the unequal positions of established and emerging brands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The New Frontiers of Fashion Law)
Open AccessArticle
Fashion between Inspiration and Appropriation
Laws 2020, 9(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws9010005 - 12 Feb 2020
Abstract
Fashion is considered an element of “cultural identity”. At the same time, it has always been a dynamic phenomenon in which different styles, designs and models converged, acting both as a source of attraction for designers as well as a source of inspiration [...] Read more.
Fashion is considered an element of “cultural identity”. At the same time, it has always been a dynamic phenomenon in which different styles, designs and models converged, acting both as a source of attraction for designers as well as a source of inspiration to draw and depart from in an attempt at innovation. Influences were reciprocal, with the phenomenon of Orientalism going hand in hand with that of Occidentalism. Today’s discussion focuses on the vindication by various ethnic groups of ways to protect their own folklore as expression of their own cultural identity. The questions that arise are manifold. This contribution aims at framing the problem in the nowadays fashion industry as well as investigating the various possibilities of protecting folklore while preserving cultural identity. The discussion will deal with recent studies that have analyzed the various aspects of cultural appropriation. Intellectual property will be taken into consideration as a way to protect folklore. Nevertheless, this article suggests that other options for achieving protection of cultural heritage and folklore emerge in the field of Private Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility that will offer new opportunities to tackle the problem of cultural appropriation in the fashion world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The New Frontiers of Fashion Law)
Open AccessArticle
Photoshop & The (Virtual) Body of Models
Laws 2020, 9(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws9010003 - 19 Jan 2020
Abstract
In this paper, Photoshop is analyzed with a special focus on the bodies of models and a detailed analysis on the legal issues posed by this specific area. For the sake of a thorough development of the topic of this paper, it is [...] Read more.
In this paper, Photoshop is analyzed with a special focus on the bodies of models and a detailed analysis on the legal issues posed by this specific area. For the sake of a thorough development of the topic of this paper, it is necessary to define relevant concepts such as photography and personal image. Regarding the first notion, problems related to intellectual property and, more specifically, copyright are discussed in this paper. Additionally, personal image is one of the most complex and comprehensive areas of law since the protection accorded to it is not equal in different jurisdictions of the world, so its study involves an analysis that goes beyond the scope of this paper. However, various safeguard mechanisms undertaken by some legislations chosen for this purpose will be presented, while also mentioning some specific cases both in the European continental system (Spain and Argentina) and in common law (United States of America and United Kingdom). Finally, the focus is placed on the use of Photoshop for the modification of body shape, particularly that professional models, as these are the ones that work primarily with their image. There will also be a description of some new regulations and mechanisms attempting to restrict image manipulation practices and those that warn the consumers against modified images to eventually conclude on the insufficiency of the same ones and the need for new proposed actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The New Frontiers of Fashion Law)
Open AccessArticle
The Protection of Fashion Shows: An Uncharted Stage
Laws 2019, 8(4), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws8040029 - 17 Nov 2019
Abstract
The history of fashion shows goes back more than a century, and over the years, catwalks have gone from being private sales channels for a few wealthy customers to pure entertainment shows promoted globally. In this article, we analyze both national and international [...] Read more.
The history of fashion shows goes back more than a century, and over the years, catwalks have gone from being private sales channels for a few wealthy customers to pure entertainment shows promoted globally. In this article, we analyze both national and international laws dealing with the protection of fashion shows in order to establish how fashion shows could be protected under intellectual property laws in Italy, with specific regard to copyright. The possibility for fashion shows to access copyright protection opens up a list of interesting questions: Who is the author of the work? Are models to be considered as performers? This scenario gets even more complicated if we consider how fashion shows have been changing in the last few years, turning to new technologies such as holograms, augmented reality, and drones. Further, copyright protection could be accompanied by further tools, such as registered or unregistered designs for the single elements of a scene and choreography or unfair competition if the general look and feel of a former fashion show has been slavishly imitated. A final section of this article is dedicated to the use of cultural heritage and historical museums, which are increasingly chosen by fashion houses for the settings of their shows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The New Frontiers of Fashion Law)
Open AccessArticle
Circular Economy and Waste in the Fashion Industry
Laws 2019, 8(4), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws8040027 - 31 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The fashion industry has to play an important role in the path towards sustainability and the circular economy. Indeed, the fashion industry is a sector with a high environmental impact; it involves a very long and complicated supply chain, which is associated with [...] Read more.
The fashion industry has to play an important role in the path towards sustainability and the circular economy. Indeed, the fashion industry is a sector with a high environmental impact; it involves a very long and complicated supply chain, which is associated with large consumption of water and energy, use of chemical substances, water and air pollution, waste production and finally microplastic generation. In particular, textiles and clothing waste has become a huge global concern. Against this background, this paper aims at analysing the existing EU measures that have an impact on the development of sustainable practices and the transition to a circular economy in the fashion industry, with a particular focus on the EU revised legislative framework on waste adopted within the Circular Economy Action Plan of 2015. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The New Frontiers of Fashion Law)
Open AccessArticle
Slow Fashion in a Fast Fashion World: Promoting Sustainability and Responsibility
Laws 2019, 8(4), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws8040024 - 09 Oct 2019
Abstract
Through its rapid production methods that supply the latest catwalk styles almost instantaneously to the high street, the fast fashion model has revolutionized the fashion industry, while generating a significant carbon footprint and a host of social concerns. Yet, the law is either [...] Read more.
Through its rapid production methods that supply the latest catwalk styles almost instantaneously to the high street, the fast fashion model has revolutionized the fashion industry, while generating a significant carbon footprint and a host of social concerns. Yet, the law is either slow or ineffective in promoting sustainability in a world obsessed with image and social connectivity, while outdated notions of companies continue to dominate the legal academy. This chapter initially examines the fashion industry’s environmental footprint. Then, it examines the rise of the fast fashion model and law’s inadequacy to prevent the model from undermining intellectual property rights or effectively address the model’s detrimental impact on environmental and social sustainability. The chapter then challenges traditional notions of corporate personality, calling for more responsible corporate behavior and greater legal scrutiny. Finally, the chapter considers various issues to enhance ethical behavior in companies, arguing that the slow fashion movement provides an alternative paradigm to the fast fashion model, since the slow fashion movement connects suppliers and producers more closely with consumers, thereby enhancing sustainability and corporate responsibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The New Frontiers of Fashion Law)
Open AccessArticle
The Ethical Consumer and Codes of Ethics in the Fashion Industry
Laws 2019, 8(4), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws8040023 - 24 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Sustainability is a central challenge of the fashion industry. In an era where Internet and social networks allow information to spread quickly, more consumers are familiar with the call for “ethical fashion” as disasters such as Rana Plaza resound worldwide. However, consumers interested [...] Read more.
Sustainability is a central challenge of the fashion industry. In an era where Internet and social networks allow information to spread quickly, more consumers are familiar with the call for “ethical fashion” as disasters such as Rana Plaza resound worldwide. However, consumers interested in buying “ethical” clothing could have a hard time orienting themselves amongst the abundance of brands claiming to be ethical on the market. Consumers might make purchasing decisions based on their knowledge of a brand. In this context, it is imaginable that corporate social responsibility (CSR) communications, including codes of ethics, could constitute one way a consumer can learn more about a company’s values. These codes may serve a variety of purposes—they are undoubtedly one of the ways a brand communicates its commitment to ethical principles. Indeed, by analyzing the codes of ethics of some of the industry’s well-known brands, it is evident that they primarily focus on employment and workers’ rights (including equality and discrimination issues), labor safety standards, bribery and anti-corruption, counterfeiting and unfair business practices, as well as respect for (and sometimes improvement of) the environment. A company’s code of ethics is also a powerful tool for improving brand image by adopting a code that responds to the issues that consumers care about. It is therefore necessary to distinguish between companies that are truly ethical and those that merely appear so. In order to protect consumer confidence in such documents, a fil rouge across legal systems may be found (although the specific characteristics may vary greatly) in the laws that protect consumers from misleading advertising. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The New Frontiers of Fashion Law)
Open AccessArticle
Digital Market, Bloggers, and Trendsetters: The New World of Advertising Law
Laws 2019, 8(3), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws8030021 - 03 Sep 2019
Abstract
The importance of digital marketing is continuously growing, at least in the present economic phase. Within this sector, fashion bloggers play a crucial role, which reflects the relevance of fashion on an economic and a social level, as already highlighted in Georg Simmel’s [...] Read more.
The importance of digital marketing is continuously growing, at least in the present economic phase. Within this sector, fashion bloggers play a crucial role, which reflects the relevance of fashion on an economic and a social level, as already highlighted in Georg Simmel’s pioneering study. New communication opportunities made available by the development of digital technologies shed more light on this phenomenon. One of the main concerns is the need to guarantee the transparency and the correctness of commercial communications shared through social media in order to ensure the consumers’ full freedom of choice. However, can traditional rules on advertising be considered sufficient, or is there a need for ad hoc rules? Can consumers’ protection be reconciled with other values such as the creative freedom of advertisers and, more generally, the freedom of expression? Thus far, interventions by self-regulatory bodies and independent authorities, both at national and international levels, have proven to be effective, even if more “classic” regulatory interventions may occur in the future. After a short reference to the literature concerning fashion as a social phenomenon, the contribution focuses on the main solutions adopted in Italy and in Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The New Frontiers of Fashion Law)
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