Types of Fashion contracts
When designers cut and sew fabric into different forms of clothing they will come into contact with legal contracts. These legal contracts can potentially help grow their brand and bring their clothing to their customers.
Some of the contracts that designers come into contact with include manufacturing agreements. This is where the manufacturer actually cuts and sews the design of the actual clothing.
This is where they'll take cotton and knit and spin it into actual fabric which is then turned into your clothing. Or they'll take cowhide and actually tan and polish it into high-quality leather.
Another contract includes a licensing agreement. And this is where you license your design and you receive back a royalty or percentage of the profits. Consignment agreements allow clothes to be placed into a store and the designer is paid once an article of clothing is sold. The designer will then receive a percentage of the profits.
Independent sales representation agreements are similar to having sales reps that will help your clothing company get into different stores and have better placement in those stores. And lastly there are various employment agreements.
It is important to familiarize yourself with these contracts because they can actually lessen your learning curve and increase your chances of being successful.
Branding is everything and it can take many years for designers to make their brand premium in the fashion industry.
Often times designers will name their clothing lines after themselves. This makes sense for many reasons:
1) It is often done in the industry and
2) Designers spend their blood, sweat, tears, and money building their brands into something premium.
However, naming the fashion line after the designer can cause many problems if the designer decides to sell the company. The entrepreneur may lose rights to use their name in any business endeavors in the future because the name now belongs to the company, not necessarily the person.
A famous case like this happened with Joseph Abboud. In this case, Abboud sold his name to JA Apparel and he wanted to continue using his name. But the court stopped him from doing this because the name now belongs to the company. Another situation happened with Paolo Gucci, from the famous Gucci family. And he wanted to use his name. But the courts only allowed Paolo to use his name with certain restrictions because of the potential confusion with the Gucci family's trademark.
Designers should think long and hard about using their name on clothing lines because a name is everything. A name can be worth billions and a person wants to make sure they have control of their name as much as they can.
In fashion, people are often inspired by other people's ideas and designs, but in some cases, they just flat out steal designs. Many of these ideas are copyrights, trademarks, patents, which are legally protected by the government and called intellectual property.
And in that word intellectual property, focused on the word "property". That means that a person actually owns something and no one else can. It is best to register the intellectual property with the government to ensure the owner has all the remedies and advantages allowed for the designs.
But problems do occur. If someone steals a designer's design, the designer can send them a cease and desist order. A cease and desist order basically tells the person, "Hey, those designs you have are my designs. So stop using my designs or I'm going to have to escalate it, and sue you in court." Most of the time this is enough, but sometimes the designer will have to escalate it and actually sue the person in federal court.
When the designer files a lawsuit in federal court, one thing the designer can ask for is injunctive relief. This basically means the designer goes to a judge and say, "Judge, this person has my designs. They're using my designs without my consent and it doesn't belong to them. Give me an order to actually make them stop." An injunctive relief stops them from actually continuing to use the designs.
A designer can also request monetary damages. A designer can prove damages by showing the courts how much the other party has made off their designs. In addition, the designer can show how much money he or she lost by the other party using the design.
New and small-time designers should not be worried because in some cases the courts have made the losing party pay their attorney fees.