Calling all fashion majors and minors, a new class has been added to the spring semester course list, LAW 4061: Fashion Law, one-credit course offered on Fridays.
Taught by Dr. Deirdre Hay, Director of Graduate Legal Career Advising, who is teaching the course for the first time at Cornell, LAW 4061: Fashion Law will provide an overview of the subject, as fashion law is a blend of several types of law.
“It’s a quick transition [and] the wide range of it,” Hay said. “And it’s also my first time doing it… but I don’t want to overwhelm people. The real goal is to develop a radar within students where they know there is a legal problem.
Hay hopes students will learn to identify legal or antitrust issues if they plan to work in fashion law or the fashion industry.
This class will be the first of its kind. It was not offered through the university secretary’s office, but there were guest speakers on the topic, according to Prof. Fran Cosen, fiber science and apparel design.
“Intellectual property and counterfeiting are two big areas of law [that] Hay will touch on … but also all the legal issues needed to launch a brand and be an entrepreneur in fashion,” Kozen said.
Hay will introduce many guest speakers throughout the semester to discuss sub-topics in fashion law, each an expert in these areas. The speakers are all Cornell professors, including Prof. Steve Carvel, Finance, and Prof. Celia Bigones, Corporate Law and Financial Regulation, among others.
“It really comes together with a whole bunch of very skilled people who know these different areas of law … so that students get experts in the subspecialties of fashion law,” Hay said.
Using the textbook Law of fashion as a foundation for the class, professors will delve into topics such as business entity ownership structures, employment law, licensing and franchising, entrepreneurship and finance, with Hay focusing on intellectual property.
Hay is looking for any student who has an interest in fashion or law.
“If you want to work in the fashion industry, then you’ll get a lot out of it because you know you’re going to get a layout of the industry.” Hay said. “And if you have an interest in law, you’ll get a feel for employment law, contract law, global trade law, intellectual property law and antitrust law.”
Jasmine Chang ’23, a fashion minor, is excited that fashion classes are expanding at Cornell and getting into more fashion-related industries.
“Fashion law sounds like a really interesting addition to the fashion courses offered here at Cornell,” Chang said in an email to The Sun. “I’m definitely willing to take this course and would love to see a wider offering of fashion classes as the subject is linked to other majors and industries such as fashion business, fashion marketing and PR as well as the science behind materials and fibers .”
According to Hay, after a small survey was conducted among students in the College of Human Ecology, many sought more business classes to improve their degrees. Hay thought a fashion law class would be an ideal option, but it wasn’t a good fit at the time, until this year the course was finally approved for this spring semester.
“I think it will be great to meet the needs of students who want more business courses,” Hay said. “I love serving Cornell and the students, and it makes me happy to see a need and be able to fill it.”
Fashion Law will be available during the add/drop period until Monday, February 6th.