Welcome to the 21st century, the world is growing and primarily fixed on specialization. There are so many billion-dollar industries in the world that are based on creative skills. The fashion industry is one of those industries, the fashion industry has become one of the most important industries in the world like the fashion capitals; Milan, Paris, New York and United Kingdom, Lagos has become one of the top capitals for fashion in the world. fashion in Nigeria is growing rapidly, It has great potentials and these potentials can be maximized for the benefit of the economy of the country. The benefits which this industry possesses is endless, it is alarming that the industry with the level of progress which it has made, the Nigeria Fashion industry still has a legal gap.
With growth comes challenges, opportunities and problems. A major problem associated with the fashion industry is the legal gap, the lack of laws for this buoyant Industry. There are no central bodies regulating the fashion industries neither are there governmental policies governing and protecting those involved in the industry. Fashion Law is an effective way to cater for the legal issues related to this industry.
I am sure you might be wondering:
“fashion law again, a lawyer is a lawyer now, what is fashion law?”
Fashion law is a legal field encompassing issues that arise throughout the life of a fashion business, it is an established field of study and practice (in some countries) that covers various fundamental issues which includes intellectual property protection, financing, manufacturing, marketing, employment and labor laws, licensing agreement, distribution and agreements, safety, sustainability and consumer protection issues, customs and retailing of fashion products.
Fashion law is the legal framework which covers the fashion industry as a whole. So, it protects every individual in the industry from the designer, to the models, to the show producers, to the photographers. Every individual associated with the fashion industry is covered by the fashion law.
There are two major issues which usually arise in the Fashion Industry and the issues are related to the infringement of intellectual property and the breach of contracts. The fashion industry is made up of commercial ventures and the success of any business venture is dependent on the strength of its contract and its contractual relationship. There are various contracts which are applicable to a fashion business; the supply contract (contracts between designers and suppliers), the terms and condition contracts (contract between the designers and the consumers) and the creative service contracts (contracts between the companies and the models or the designers and the models).
Please don’t go on the internet to look for a template of a contract, so many individuals engage in this and believe they don’t need a lawyer when signing an agreement. It is important that your contract has no loose ends, so consult a lawyer to draft your contract and before signing a contract, consult a lawyer.
The second issue in the fashion industry is related to intellectual property law, there are various types of intellectual property that fall within this industry and they include: copyright, Trademark and industrial designs. Nigerian top and upcoming fashion designers face unique challenges specific to the fashion industry, requiring laws that covers the advantages and disadvantages of various types of intellectual property protection. Moreover, the increased availability of counterfeit goods, such as fake designer bags, shoes and dresses, has created interesting new challenges for the fashion industry.
The Nigerian Fashion industry is a fast-growing industry, yet with growth comes challenges, opportunities and problems. There are no central bodies regulating the fashion industries neither are there governmental policies.
In Africa, provisions of such laws are not made, thus a designer’s work/ design can be copied and there will be no remedy. There should be provision of laws to protect the Nigerian fashion industry because the fashion industry is here to stay. Fashion law will be an effective way to address the broad spectrum of issues which top and upcoming designers encounter. Africa fashion law is all about fashion and fashion law
As stated earlier the world is in the age of specialization, fashion law is fully practiced in various parts of the world and it is also studied in various institutions. In lieu of the rapid progress related to the industry, it is deemed that the legal gap connected to the industry needs to be catered for by the aspect referred to as fashion law.
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