Fashion show lawyer’s guide
This is a fashion show lawyer’s guide to setting up a successful fashion show. The fashion show should be an essential part of any fashion retailers brand building strategy. It builds consumer awareness of their brand and helps to sell clothes. Fashion entrepreneurs setting up online fashion retail brands ought to consider putting on an entertaining and theatrical presentation of their clothes or/and accessories on live models. Nothing else can compete with real models showcasing clothes on a catwalk as opposed to mannequins or images on a website.
But what do you need to be aware of if you are producing your first fashion show from a legal perspective?
1. Joint or solo effort
You need to decide if the fashion show is something you can handle by yourself. Do you have enough contacts with promoters for a full guest list by yourself? Have you got enough cash to pay for everything? If you can’t handle it by yourself you will need a partner or partners. A joint effort will at the very least require some kind of collaboration agreement or even a joint venture agreement depending on the scale of the show. These agreements will deal with very important issues like the individual contribution to the budget, or responsibility for the guest list, and you will need a lawyer.
Once you have chosen a suitable venue that suits the style of your clothes and your target demographic, you will need to sign an agreement with the venue. This is perhaps the most fundamental element of the fashion show to nail down. The crucial things to cover are what exactly is provided by the venue and what you will be providing. Will the venue be providing the equipment, stage, catwalk, lighting rig, public address system seating arrangements, sound recording engineer, public liability insurance and other essential kit to put on a show. If not, what will you have to provide?
3. Booking fashion models
There are some things you will definitely need to sort out yourself. You will need to make sure you have booked the fashion models. You will need to sign an Agency Booking Confirmation Form. Most top agencies will also have Terms and Conditions for booking models which can be found on their website. You need to read these before signing the Booking Form. My advice is that you get a lawyer to help you with this since some of these agreements may be tricky and you are probably too busy with producing the fashion show to concentrate on legal minutiae.
4. Miscellaneous other responsibilities
You will need to provide hairdressers, security, cloakroom staff, catering if you are going to have food and drink, transport of clothes, good bags, even the cleaners might require some sort of contract reviewing.
You will need licenses including a license to hold the event; a license to play recorded music, even a broadcast license if you are going to stream the show live over the Internet with copyrighted content.
Referring back to the budget. A fashion show can be very expensive, costing several thousands of pounds. Fashion shows for the big fashion labels can cost millions. One of the ways to raise money is through a sponsor. A fashion show can be greatly enhanced by the right sponsor. The right sponsor gives not just money but by lending its brand to the event your brand can gain more prestige. For example luxury brands like Rolex or Porsche can definitely lift the perception of a brand to an exclusive status. Don’t forget to instruct a lawyer to go over your sponsorship agreement. You need to make sure that there are benefits for all the parties.
7. Intellectual Property
In the digital age we expect live streaming and the availability of almost any entertainment event online. You should successfully protect your rights to the fashion show. You should check to see what rights the venue and model agencies reserve for themselves regarding events. Even if you can’t do anything about it you should still know what rights you have after all the time and expense of producing the show.
If you should follow these tips for producing a fashion show you really can’t go wrong from a legal perspective. Good luck with the show.
To book a face to face consultation for commercial legal advice you should contact a specialist fashion lawyer (charge rates may apply and may vary).