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News & MediaFashion Law – the instersection between creativity and business

21 de December, 2023

Fashion is a universal and permanent phenomenon, an industry in continuous innovation, whose worldwide revenues at the end of 2022 reached 1.53 trillion US dollars, which figure is estimated to increase by 25 per cent by 2027.  

Thus, and quite naturally, a new segment of law has developed to respond to the recurring issues of fashion, whose market is arm in arm with the law, not only due to the value it generates, but also because of its particularities, namely, the constant speed at which it moves and the creativity intrinsic to it, which are fundamental drivers of the development of Fashion Law. 

 How, then, can Fashion Law be defined? It is the legal specialization that deals with the problems of fashion world, integrating various subject matters of law, such as: 

  • Commercial and Corporate Law: Inherent in any industry, there is a strong link to this area of practice, whether it is monitoring corporate life, purchase and sale transactions, mergers, or spin-offs of companies, or even safeguarding the most varied contracts (franchising, supply, provision of services, among others). 
  • Intellectual Property Law: As this is an industry characterized by seasonal products with short lifespans that aim to respond to cyclical and passing trends, it is crucial to protect clothing and footwear creations. The protection of trademarks, design and patents plays an essential role.  
  • Civil Rights and Sustainability: Players in the fashion industry are now obliged to include rules aimed at sustainability in their business models. 
  • Consumer and Advertising Law: Consumer protection, particularly with the growing exposure to advertising and online shopping. 
  • Data Protection Law: An important discipline with the progress of technology incorporated into clothing and accessories, such as smartwatches. 
  • Labour Law: From production to commerce, labor law is one of the most important aspects of fashion. 
  • Misdemeanor and Criminal Law: Counterfeiting is still a huge problem to be solved. 


On the other hand, in addition to traditional markets, the demand for Fashion Law has been growing due to the increasing interconnection of this industry with the digital world and, consequently, its dependence on digital law – bearing in mind not only e-commerce, but also the: 

  • Growth in the Use of Artificial Intelligence Tools – Brands are currently using these tools to enhance the consumer experience and, consequently, sales, for example the possibility of trying on accessories via digital applications, using 3D models.  
  • Use of the Metaverse – Brands are already investing in products and fashion weeks in the metaverse. 

 Fashion Law is therefore a field of law that, like the fashion industry itself, is constantly growing and changing, adapting to new markets, ideas, legal figures and business models. 


by Ricardo Cardoso and Carolina Ribeiro Santos, Practice Area – Sports, Fashion and Entertainment
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