The Law Offices of Nate Kelly represents emerging clothiers and fashion companies.
As a designer of a creative label or as any professional in the fashion industry, you face the difficulties of trying to both grow your brand and to protect it at the same time. At the Law Offices of Nate Kelly, we understand your struggle and can provide you with the top-quality legal and business counseling that will prove most beneficial to your brand.
It's (unfortunately) not all about the designs.
Fashion and apparel companies need an experienced lawyer to help them address intellectual property, contract, finance, and employment law. An experienced lawyer can help you protect your designs and marketing slogans, enter into favorable contractual terms, responsibly finance your business, and comply with wage and hour, as well as other employment laws.
Contracts: Contract drafting and negotiations are crucial to any business planning, including planning for your fashion business. These important agreements, related to production, sales, marketing, manufacturing, etc., are crucial to establishing a successful brand. Our attorneys can assist you in negotiating all the key terms of these agreements, including the following:
Manufacturing Agreements – The contract between a designer or a company that has developed a product, such as an article of clothing, accessory, or footwear, and a factory owner capable of producing such a product (at scale). The following terms are key: quantity, shipment, payment, delivery dates, product specifications (quality), manufacturer’s know-how, ownership of intellectual property, and the liability of the parties.
Consignment Agreements – The contract between a designer or company and a retailer, whereby the your company's merchandise is sold at the retailer outlet (e.g. brick and mortar store, website, etc.). The key negotiated terms are: term and termination of the agreement, terms of sale of the products, the percentage that each party will receive, payment options, liability for lost or damaged goods, and the effect of non-sale (typically, all unsold merchandise is returned to the designer).
Showroom Agreements – The contract is used when a showroom provides a space in its showroom for a company/designer to display its line. The showroom is responsible for introducing its new and existing buyers to the company/designer’s line and then passing along orders, contracts, and shipping details to the designer. A Showroom Agreement usually includes the following key terms: payment options, term and termination of the agreement, territory/exclusivity, space assignment, commissions, obligations of the showroom, and liability for lost or damaged goods. To house and market a line, a showroom may charge a flat fee, take a commission, or a combination of both.
Independent Sales Representative Agreements – This is a contract between a designer and a sales representative (“Rep”), whereby the Rep is responsible for introducing the designer’s line to its new and existing buyers and then passing along orders, contracts, and shipping details to the designer. The following are the key negotiated terms: term and termination of the agreement, obligations of the Rep, territories/products covered, commissions/advances, trade room/tradeshow fees, termination notice, and percentage guarantees on orders placed.
Third Party Logistics Agreements – These agreements cover any outsourced warehousing, packing, shipping, IT, and staffing. Often these services are provided under one umbrella, 3PL company. For warehousing the key negotiated terms include: term and termination, storage charges, shipping and handling requirements and charges, delivery requirements, responsibility for taxes and tariffs.
Intellectual Property: The world of fashion is a visual and accessible one, which means there are bound to be copycats. From filing trademark registrations to creating licensing agreements in your deals, all the different steps involved in protecting your unique designs can seem endless and daunting. Luckily, our lawyers are experts in intellectual property matters and can guide you through every step of the way, including defending against any potential litigation you may face.
Financing: Like all startups and emerging businesses, a new and emerging fashion company needs to find ways to raise capital. Our attorneys possess professional savvy in the areas of startup counseling and financing. We can provide you with the know-how of navigating the market, attracting the right investors, and raising the necessary funds to be able to expand your brand nationally or even globally.
Employment: Often, creating new designs and techniques requires teamwork, and teamwork means you will most certainly require some sort of compensated help. With labor laws changing every year federally and statewide, it may be hard for you to keep track all on your own. We can draft an unambiguous employment contract, your employee handbook, and develop trade secret provisions and protection plans.
For these and any of your Fashion Law needs, we encourage you to call us or set-up a free consultation.