Joe D’Avanzo quoted in New Jersey Law Journal article, “Fashion Industry Practices 'in Season' for New Jersey Law Firms.” The article explains the continual downsize of major department stores is opening up avenues for legal work.
Joseph D’Avanzo, a partner at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden in Hackensack, has been in the fashion law trenches for more than 18 years and knows firsthand just how complex the industry has become. He got his start being tapped as liaison counsel for the fashion model industry in an antitrust class action litigation. From there, with his extensive knowledge of the industry, he went on to represent fashion models and managers.
D’Avanzo said Pashman Stein is considering a separate fashion industry practice group, just like the firm’s cannabis practice group.
“We’re considering turning our current work in the fashion industry into a fashion law practice to better highlight the experience we have in that industry,” D’Avanzo said. “Law firms are now opening these fashion industry practice groups, whereas before there were only a handful of attorneys handling fashion law generically.
“It’s now a nearly $11 billion industry, and I think law firms are sort of waking to the fact that this industry has a lot of needs where creating a practice group for the industry makes a lot of sense,” D’Avanzo added.
“For instance, you have labor-employment issues that have arisen, where fashion models are claiming they have been misclassified as independent contractors and should instead be classified as employees of fashion model agencies,” he said.
“There are accusations of price fixing by the agencies, and the question is, are fashion model agencies unlicensed or licensed employment agencies? The models claim the agencies extend usage of their images without their consent for commissions,” D’Avanzo said of the litigation.
“What you are seeing is an evolutionary change in the fashion model industry. It’s not just the litigation, but also, you have changes in regulations. … Regulatory work, labor-employment work, transactional work, negotiating contracts with models and their modeling manager or celebrities and customers, licensing work, restrictive covenants with non-competes, intellectual property rights—it’s all growing as the internet expands,” D’Avanzo said.
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