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.
Lecturer 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 a general overview of the subject, as fashion law is a mixture of several types of law.
“It goes by quickly [and] a wide range of it,” Hay said. “And it’s also my first time doing it… but I don’t want to burden people. The real goal is to develop a radar among 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 Registrar’s Office, but there were guest lecturers on the topic, according to Prof. Fran Kozen, fiber science and clothing 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 entrepreneurship in fashion,” said Kozen.
Hay will feature many guest speakers throughout the semester who will discuss sub-topics within fashion law, each an expert in these areas. The speakers are all professors from Cornell, including prof. Steve Carvell, finance, and prof. Celia Bigoness, corporate law and financial regulation, and others.
“It really comes together with a whole bunch of very qualified people who know these different areas of law … so the students get experts in the sub-specialties of fashion law,” Hay said.
Using textbooks Fashion law as a basis for teaching, professors will deal with topics such as the ownership structure of business entities, labor law, licensing and franchising, entrepreneurship and finance, and Hay will focus on intellectual property.
Hay is looking for any students interested in fashion or law.
“If you want to work in the fashion industry, then you’ll benefit a lot from this because you know you’re going to get the look of the industry.” Hay said. “And if you’re interested in law, you’ll get a taste of labor law, contract law, global trade law, intellectual property law and antitrust law.”
Jasmine Chang ’23, a fashion minor, is excited to see fashion courses expand at Cornell and delve into more fashion-interrelated industries.
“Fashion Law sounds like a really interesting addition to the fashion courses available here at Cornell,” Chang said in an email to The Sun. “I’m definitely open to taking this class and would love to see a wider range of fashion classes as the course relates to other majors and industries, such as fashion business, fashion marketing and PR, and the science behind materials and fibers.”
According to Hay, after a small survey of College of Human Ecology students, many asked for more business classes to enhance their degree. Hay thought a fashion law class would be a perfect fit, but at the time it didn’t, until this year when the course finally got permission 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 meet it.”
The Fashion Law will be available during the add/drop period until Monday, February 6th.