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A club of one: Fashion Law Club searches for additional members

POSTED AT 11:48 PM ON Oct. 4, 2010 

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While many college students may opt for a knockoff designer purse instead of spending the money on an authentic one, sophomore Katherine Lessing, founder of the newly formed IU Fashion Law Club, said this is a violation of the designer’s intellectual property.

“We see girls step on the bus all the time with their fake Louis Vuitton’s,” Lessing said. “We wouldn’t copy a book so why should we copy fashion designs? But knockoffs and counterfeits do exactly that.”

The emerging legal specialty of Fashion Law deals with copyright and trademark law, business law, licensing, textiles and merchandising.

As a transfer student from IU-Purdue University Ft. Wayne, Lessing was surprised to hear that IU did not have a fashion law club already in place.

“Looking into fashion law can really be interesting,” Lessing said. “I think it would be really cool if we had a fashion law club here because then our school would be among the first schools to have one.”

Lessing said she plans to get people involved in studying fashion trends and the legalities behind the designs of high-fashion brands.

“My goal would be to have a group of guys and girls that could take trips to talk to
fashion lawyers in order to learn more about the industry,” she said.

However, Lessing is not the only student embracing the new legal specialty.

Fordham University’s new Fashion Law Institute in New York is the first among its kind.

Supported by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the New York institute will specialize in educating its students about fashion-related legal issues.

Though Lessing is currently IU Fashion Law Club’s only member, she said she is planning on having call out meetings Tuesdays, including one at 9 p.m. today in the East Lounge of the Indiana Memorial Union.

She said she also encourages interested students to e-mail her at klessing@indiana.edu with any questions.

“From our closets to design studios, fashion law surrounds us,” Lessing said. “I am really excited about starting Fashion Law Club at IU and I hope that everyone can get involved.”

— Kelsey Collisi

 

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