Miss Danielle J. Schivek, photo by Jeanne Crehange, September 29, 2014, Champs Élysées.
Having recently acquired the privilege of signing my name with the distinction, J.D., it should be of no surprise to you that I find myself in an unexceptional position of unemployment, with time quite at my disposal. You must be equally unimpressed to learn that since taking the New York State Bar Examination at the very end of July, I have unhealthily binged on films and television series available on Netflix, and also found myself in Europe for the far-too short a stay of exactly two weeks.
As you now find yourself reading my words, you should be of the knowledge that it is has long been my aspiration to advocate in the arena of “Fashion Law.” Yet Fashion Law seems not only to be an area of legal expertise that escapes Americans, but those in London – less so in Paris, found the niche to be of equally frivolity.
It was only a day after my return from my European excursion that from my MacBook Pro speakers I heard an exceptionally adorned Kiera Knightly as Georgiana Spencer, The Duchess of Devonshire, in the film “The Duchess” chirp, “You (men) have so many ways of expressing yourselves, whereas we (women) must make do with our hats and dresses.” Although such a sentiment reflects a period of more than two centuries ago, it is still regarded as a proper understanding of the significance of fashion. For what more purpose could fashion have than to set apart an individual amongst a sea of suitors?
It is my duty to now inform you that the expression of fashion is governed by real conditions in society, and the medium is more than a conduit for self-expression. Historically, fashion has consistently conveyed both political and commercial messages. Economic theorists David Hume and Adam Smith, whose theories the U.S. has adopted, endorsed 18th Century England’s expansion into free markets in order to improve the ailing economy and modernize. The two believed that luxury was “the greatest incentive for economic growth,” and that a healthy economy requires consumers’ increased demand for goods and services.
The fashion and apparel sector in the United States has achieved the status of a truly global industry, ballooning to more than $340 billion in revenue. Globally, it has become one of the largest and most dynamic areas of the world economy, accounting for nearly 4% of world trade, in excess of $1 trillion per year. Why then, is it so difficult to convince against the notion that crimes in all other areas of law are of a greater public threat?
Though it is unlikely to be openly admitted, fashion has become the heart of the U.S. economy, and U.S. intellectual property law is at a critical point in which issues currently facing the fashion industry must avoid further compounding at the hand of digital technologies. It is of paramount importance then that I stop receiving the looks of confusion and concern each time I convey my career aspirations, for as I have explained in the many words above, you can be assured that my pursuits are of the most noble cause.