Hiring an attorney with fashion business experience may be one of the best strategic decisions any fashion-related enterprise can make. Whether you are a designer, retailer or other fashion entrepreneur, having an experienced legal advisor is not just for big business anymore.
No doubt the fashion business has always been a challenge. But with the rapidly changing way information is shared and processed, the dynamic of today’s business climate presents many new challenges and opportunities. An attorney who practices in the industry should be part of your team of advisors to help you build a solid foundation, protect your interests, counsel on your options and advise on the best way forward.
A lawyer with fashion experience has insight on the expectations of deals and transactions involved in the fashion industry; thus, having a better understanding of the whole picture, they spot issues for you and not only can help you avoid costly mistakes, but can help you make the most of opportunities.
Legal issues arise during all phases of the business lifespan, from the initial formation and incorporation, to raising capital and hiring employees, and to the ultimate exit in an acquisition or IPO. Making the right legal decisions early on creates a strong foundation to build upon; if any legal issues are not addressed at the onset, they are much more expensive problems later on. In the long term, it is cost effective to hire an experienced fashion lawyer because of the potential time, money and stress that can be avoided.
Of course, new business owners are often hesitant to hire a lawyer because of the costs associated — or the perceived costs, at least. The fact is, many legal services are more affordable than most people believe. If you put the time in finding the right person or firm to represent your business, you can get quality representation at a fair price.
One of the important things to consider is how to find the right attorney for your startup. A lawyer who specializes in real estate or personal injury litigation, although technically qualified, would probably not be the best fit for your fashion start-up, for example. Yes, you need to hire a lawyer, but you also need the right one. There are major implications to hiring the wrong lawyer because each type of business has its own legal obstacles to hurdle, and you need a lawyer that knows your industry inside and out.
David L. Colby, Esq., a Business Attorney and Managing Partner at Colby Law Office, P.C. in New York City and Miami. His firm is focused on the needs of creative entrepreneurs worldwide. David is also an Professor at both Parsons School of Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Maria Pesin knows fashion, especially the business side of the fashion industry. Do you know how Manolo Blahnik got his start in the industry? How he leveraged a paltry 3 grand into one of the world’s most famous luxury brands? While she doesn’t take credit for Manolo’s success, Maria has walked a similar path on numerous occasions. The world of fashion is not silicon valley, and it has nothing to do with Madison Avenue marketing. In this industry there is ALWAYS room for something new and exciting, but you have to have your ducks in a row. If that’s what you need, believe me, Maria is the General Patton of fashion ducks!
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