By: Stephanie Mason
The year 2018 was a trying time for many Retail companies in America. In 2018, alone, 3,800 stores, including Walgreens, Gap, and Tevanna, closed its doors. In addition to retail companies doubling down on their brick and mortar stores, dozens of American retail staples have filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, such as Mattress firm, Sears, Claire’s and Nine-west. This nationwide close-out emerged as a response to the growth of e-commerce and online shopping. Over the past five years, e-commerce sales have doubled, breaking a record of $123.7 billion. Luckily for certain businesses such as gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores, and luxury retails stores, such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton, the e-commerce industry has not yet affected them. In 2017, these “online-resistant” sectors combined sales were an estimated $610 billon.
As retail stores continue to close its door and move toward selling their products online, numerous Malls are left abandoned, espcially in smaller suburban communities. The owners of these dying U.S. Mall are having much difficulties selling them. “There are just a shallow pool of investors who are willing to take on a declining mall and even fewer who would pay what the landlords want. According to Real Capital Analytics Inc., only about $3 billion of retail real estate changed hands in April, the lowest monthly tally since February 2013.” In light of this reality, this Note peer behinds mall doors to evaluate how emerging designers can utilize these empty spaces to combat the emerging e-commerce fashion industry and to capitalize off of the declining fast-fashion market.
Fashion Law at Howard Law School
Fashion, a global $1 trillion industry, has been defined as the dialogue among the creative industries that propose innovations and consumers who decide what to adopt or reject.
But what happens when some creative innovators propose innovations that they are unable to protect?
Here at Howard Law School, our goal is to spread the message that IP protections are for EVERYONE by working to identify deficiencies in intellectual property law that make it difficult for some fashion innovators to retain their intellectual property rights.
In our class we explore the concept of inspired copying in the fashion industry and its effect on creatives of color.